George Floyd, a Black man whose death while in police custody last month, has sparked worldwide outrage and protests, previously tested positive for the coronavirus, according to an autopsy report released by the Hennepin County (Minn.) Medical Examiner’s Office.
Floyd tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, on April 3, but it didn’t contribute to his death and he appeared asymptomatic, the medical examiner’s office said in the report released Wednesday.
The 20-page report suggested he had likely recovered by the time of his death. The autopsy also showed trace amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system.
“Since … positivity for COVID-19 can persist for weeks after the onset and resolution of clinical disease, the autopsy result most likely reflects asymptomatic but persistent … positivity from previous infection,” the report said.
Floyd died May 25 after a white police officer pinned him to the pavement with a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The incident, which was captured by an onlooker in a viral video, has spurred protests nationwide, some of which have resulted in violence.
Derek Chauvin, the officer who was recorded pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck, was arrested Friday and initially charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, but the top count was upgraded to second-degree murder Wednesday.
Three other officers at the scene — Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — were charged with felony aiding and abetting second-degree murder.