Truth is the first victim in politics. Factions and passions rule. Random facts are picked as weapons, no one thinks things through.
We need to understand the facts surrounding the death of George Floyd.
Many key facts are being ignored:
– Floyd’s blood tests showed a concentration of Fentanyl of about three times the fatal dose.
— Fentanyl is a dangerous opioid 50 times more potent than heroin. It has rapidly become the most common cause of death among drug addicts.
— The knee hold used by the police is not a choke hold, it does not impede breathing. It is a body restraint and is not known to have ever caused fatal injury.
— Floyd already began to complain “I can’t breathe” a few minutes before the neck restraint was applied, while resisting the officers when they tried to get him into the squad car. Fentanyl affects the breathing, causing death by respiratory arrest.
— It was normal procedure to restrain Floyd because he was resisting arrest, probably in conjunction with excited delirium (EXD), an episode of violent agitation brought on by a drug overdose, typically brief and ending in death from cardiopulmonary arrest.
— The official autopsy did indeed give cardiopulmonary arrest as the cause of death, and stated that injuries he sustained during the arrest were not life-threatening.
— Videos of the arrest do not show police beating or striking Floyd, only calmly restraining him
— In one video Floyd is heard shouting and groaning loudly and incoherently while restrained on the ground, which appears to be a sign of the violent, shouting phase of EXD. His ability to resist four officers trying to get him into the squad car is typical of EXD cases. A short spurt of superhuman strength is a classic EXD symptom.
Minneapolis police officers have been charged with Floyd’s murder. Yet all the evidence points to the fact that Floyd had taken a drug overdose so strong that his imminent death could hardly have been prevented. In all likelihood, the police were neither an intentional nor accidental cause of his death. These crucial facts have been completely ignored in the uproar.
It is widely believed that George Floyd died from a police officer’s knee on his neck, whether due to asphyxiation or neck injury. That may be how it looks, to a naïve viewer. In reality, the county autopsy report says he died of a heart attack, and states that there were “no life-threatening injuries.” Then how could they conclude it was homicide?
When scientists review scientific papers, they look primarily at the evidence, and give less weight to the conclusions, which are only the other fellow’s opinions. To blindly follow “expert opinions” is the Authoritarian View of Knowledge. This is no real knowledge at all, because to assess whether an expert is always right, we would need infinite knowledge, and doubly so when experts disagree. Not thinking for oneself is not really thinking.
So let us stick to the evidence. The county’s ambivalent autopsy also included the following hard facts: “Toxicology Findings: Blood samples collected at 9:00 p.m. on May 25th, before Floyd died, tested positive for the following: Fentanyl 11 ng/mL, Norfentanyl 5.6 ng/mL, … Methamphetamine 19 ng/mL … 86 ng/mL of morphine,” but draws no conclusions therefrom, noting only that “Quantities are given for those who are medically inclined.”
Shouldn’t we be so inclined? This fentanyl concentration, including its norfentanyl metabolite at its molecular weight, was 20.6 ng/mL That is over three times the lethal overdose, following earlier reports where the highest dose survived was 4.6 ng/mL.
If ever there was a leap before a look, we are in it now. Masses of people have become extremists, based on conclusions that are as false as they are hasty.
Regarding suffocation, the county medical examiner’s report found “no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.” Pressure applied to the side of the neck, as in this case, and not to the throat, has little or no effect on breathing. One can easily verify this oneself.
Hennepin County press release mentioning homicide:
Hennepin County autopsy:
Info from autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family: