I wondered how George Floyd’s privately contracted autopsy finding could differ so completely from the initial public autopsy result. Turns out, it didn’t. We’d been gaslighted by the Minneapolis Police Department:
On May 29, the country was told that the autopsy of George Floyd “revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxiation,” and that “potential intoxicants” and preexisting cardiovascular disease “likely contributed to his death.” This requires clarification. Importantly, these commonly quoted phrases did not come from a physician, but were taken from a charging document that utilized politicized interpretations of medical information. As doctors, we wish to highlight for the public that this framing of the circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death was at best, a misinterpretation, and at worst, a deliberate obfuscation.
(Ann Crawford-Roberts, Sonya Shadravan, Jennifer Tsai, Nicolás E. Barceló, Allie Gips, Michael Mensah, Nichole Roxas, Alina Kung, Anna Darby, Naya Misa, Isabella Morton, Alice Shen writing in Scientific American.)
The truth, as usual, followed later:
By Monday, June 1, in the context of widespread political pressure, the public received two reports: the preliminary autopsy report commissioned by Floyd’s family by private doctors, and—shortly thereafter—a summary of the preliminary autopsy from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office. Both reports stated that the cause of Floyd’s death was homicide: death at the hands of another.
As the authors further explain, such dishonesty is often used to cover for the crimes and misdeeds of racist police officers. This is the sort of officially sanctioned practice that must be eradicated.
Racism under color of public safety is systemic racism.