Posted on June 2, 2020, 1:22 PM IST
An independent official autopsy on Monday ruled that George Floyd, the African-American man whose death at police hands set off unrest across the United States, died in a homicide involving "neck compression".
George, 46, died of "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression," and the manner of death was "homicide," the Hennepin County Medical Examiner in Minneapolis said in a statement. Floyd's other significant health conditions were listed as "arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use." The statement added that the "manner of death is not a legal determination of culpability or intent."
Meanwhile, in a display of extreme federal authority, President Donald Trump threatened the nation’s governors on Monday that he would deploy the military to states if they did not stamp out violent protests over police brutality that have roiled the nation over the past week. His announcement came as police under federal command forced back peaceful demonstrators with tear gas so he could walk to a nearby church and pose with a Bible.
Trump’s bellicose rhetoric came as the nation convulsed through another round of violence over the death of George Floyd at a time when the country is already buckling under the coronavirus outbreak and the Depression-level unemployment it has caused. The president demanded an end to the heated protests in remarks from the White House Rose Garden and vowed to use more force to achieve that aim.
If governors throughout the country do not deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers to “dominate the streets,” Trump said the U.S. military would step in to “quickly solve the problem for them.” “We have the greatest country in the world,” the president declared. “We’re going to keep it safe.”
A military deployment by Trump to U.S. states would mark a stunning federal intervention rarely seen in modern American history. Yet the message Trump appeared to be sending with the brazen pushback of protesters outside the White House was that he sees few limits to what he is willing to do.
Federal law permits presidents to dispatch the military into states to suppress an insurrection or if a state is defying federal law, legal experts said. But Trump’s statements also set up an immediate conflict with officials in New York and other states who asserted that the president does not have the unilateral right to send in troops against the will of local governments.