NEW YORK: George Floyd, the African-American, who died in police custody last month, had tested positive for the coronavirus in April, his autopsy revealed.
The full autopsy released by the Hennepin County medical examiner and said that the 46-year-old had tested positive for the coronavirus on April 3, an international leading paper reported.
The county's top medical examiner Andrew Baker said that the Minnesota Department of Health had swabbed Floyd's nose after his death and he had tested positive for the virus.
The positive result at the time of his death was likely a lasting positive result from his previous infection. However, there is no indication that the virus played any role in his death, the report read.
Protests across New York and the US intensified as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets demanding an end to police brutality after Floyd was killed when a white police officer, Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes while he lay handcuffed and pinned to the ground gasping for breath on May 25.
“Please, I can't breathe,” were Floyd's last words and have become a clarion call for the protesters demanding action against police brutality.
Former New York City medical examiner Michael Baden, who was among two doctors who conducted a private autopsy for Floyd's family last week, said county officials did not tell him that Floyd had tested positive for COVID-19.
“The funeral director wasn't told, and we weren't told, and now a lot of people are running around trying to get tested,” Baden was quoted saying.
Baden has said that the four police officers who arrested Floyd should also get tested for COVID-19 as should some of the witnesses.