/  05.13.2021

An attorney for one of the former Minneapolis police officers who was charged in the death of George Floyd claims a medical examiner was coerced to change his initial findings.

According to The Hill, a lawyer for Tou Thao alleged that Hennepin County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker was coerced by a doctor in Washington D.C. to alter his autopsy findings to include neck compressions as a factor in Floyd’s passing. Last June, Baker ruled that Floyd’s death was a homicide, but specifically wrote in his report that his cause of death was due to “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdue restraint, and neck compression.”

Thao’s attorney believes Baker was pressured into changing his findings after speaking with Dr. Roger Mitchell — a former Washington D.C. medical examiner — twice. Mitchell was reportedly going to criticize Baker’s initial findings in an op-ed for The Washington Post, but he didn’t after the Hennepin County chief medical examiner released the report.

The court filing also states that Mitchell criticized Dr. David Fowler, who testified that Floyd could have died from carbon monoxide, heart disease or drug use. He was one of 400 doctors who signed a letter about Fowler’s statements, saying it “raises significant concerns for his previous practice and management.”

As REVOLT previously reported, Judge Peter Cahill announced that Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Kueng will now stand trial for Floyd’s death in March 2022, nearly seven months after their original August trial date.

Judge Cahill rescheduled the trial to allow the publicity over Derek Chauvin’s conviction to settle down. He also wanted to allow time for the federal case to be completed. Thao and Kueng have been charged with violating Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure because they “willfully failed to intervene to stop Chauvin’s use of unreasonable force.” All four men are charged for their failure to provide Floyd with medical care.


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