Forensic pathologist Michael Baden, who has testified in high-profile trials of O.J. Simpson and Phil Spector, has been hired to conduct an independent autopsy by the family of George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis.
Baden, 85, who was in charge of the forensic panel that investigated the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., will fly to Minneapolis on Saturday for the examination of George Floyd’s body and told Fox News that he will discuss his findings next week.
Floyd died after he was arrested by police on Monday and restrained on the ground, video of which sparked riots in Minneapolis and protests across the United States.
An official autopsy concluded that the combination of being restrained, potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system and his underlying health issues, including heart disease, likely contributed to his death. It offered nothing to support strangulation as a factor.
An officer who is seen in several videos as restraining Floyd on the ground with his knee to the back of Floyd's neck was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter earlier Friday. He and three other officers involved in the arrest have been fired by the Minneapolis Police Department.
The criminal complaint charging Derek Chauvin, 44, says Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, including nearly three minutes after Floyd stopped talking.
Floyd was arrested for suspicion of trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a local grocery store.
The attorney hired by the Floyd family, Benjamin Crump, dismissed the official autopsy Friday, saying that references to a heart condition or asthma were irrelevant because he was alive before his contact with police.
Besides Simpson and Spector, Baden has been involved in several other high-profile cases. In 2014 he was hired by the family of Michael Brown, a man killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri. That same year, he was hired by the family of Eric Garner, a New York man who died while being subdued with a chokehold by police.
Like Baden, Crump has gained fame for being involved with high-profile cases, including representing the family of Trayvon Martin and the family of Brown.
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