The George Floyd Cover-Up

The American public was lied to about one of the most important and far-reaching events of this century: the death of George Floyd. Floyd’s apparent asphyxiation beneath the knee of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020, made Floyd a martyr for Black Lives Matter worldwide. His face appeared on the placards of chanting protestors in places as far-flung as Nairobi and Tokyo, and to this day, his name is invoked as a saint of racial justice. “Even Dr. King’s assassination did not have the worldwide impact that George Floyd’s death did,” newly elected President Joe Biden said in April 2021.

Floyd’s death was also exploited for maximal political gain by America’s Democratic Party in the 2020 election year, playing into the narrative that the law enforcement institutions of Donald Trump’s America are racist and need to be destroyed. It provided an excuse for leftists to demonstrate their capacity to inflict political violence, vandalism, and intimidation in cities across America with near impunity—with encouragement, in fact, from the Democrat politicians who run those cities. That starkly contrasted the draconian treatment the Jan. 6 protestors received after daring to express political protest at the U.S. Capitol on a far milder scale than anything seen in Minneapolis in 2020. 

Thus, the average person may be shocked that what they were told about George Floyd’s death was a lie. Rather than being killed by Minneapolis police, there is plenty of evidence to suggest Floyd died of a heart attack after a massive drug overdose. Rather than a brutal rogue cop who abused his power, Officer Chauvin was just following the restraint techniques he was taught by his department, literally “by the book.” Floyd’s official autopsy found no bruises or damage to his neck, which should have been there if he died of asphyxiation. It appears that, under intense political and public pressure, Minneapolis police officials, doctors, the justice system, and the government covered up or lied about evidence that contradicted the story of Floyd dying due to police brutality.

This revisionist case is ably made in the documentary The Fall of Minneapolis, released online in November by the conservative Minnesota online news site Alpha News. The 100-minute documentary was produced by investigative reporter Liz Collin based on her 2022 book, They’re Lying: The Media, The Left, and The Death of George Floyd. The film’s summary of the evidence makes it clear that, at the very least, the public has not heard the whole story about Floyd’s death.

For those who have succeeded in forgetting the loathsome details of that event: on May 25, 2020, George Floyd was arrested for forgery after trying to pass a counterfeit bill at the Cup Foods convenience store in South Minneapolis. Four police officers, including Chauvin, responded to the call and attempted to restrain the drug-impaired Floyd, who resisted arrest wildly while babbling and foaming at the mouth. Most people have not seen the police body cam footage this documentary shows, and it alone is enough to shatter a reasonable person’s perception of that day.

During the stop, Floyd appeared to be swallowing pills to evade a drug possession charge. He had done the same thing during a similar police stop a year earlier. He was caught in the act and rushed to the hospital that time. But in 2020, he insisted to the arresting officers that he hadn’t taken anything. Police called emergency services anyway and used a “Maximal Restraint Technique” procedure to pin him to the ground as he continued to resist arrest. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The official autopsy by Dr. Andrew Baker found no signs of asphyxiation and no bruising or trauma to Floyd’s neck but did find advanced heart disease. A memo detailing Dr. Baker’s initial autopsy the day of Floyd’s death reported Dr. Baker “opined the ultimate cause of death may prove to be… 1) coronary heart disease, 2) any stimulants potentially in Mr. Floyd’s system causing his heart to work harder, and 3) Mr. Floyd’s exertion during his encounter with the police officers.” The toxicology report arrived a few days later and showed Floyd had consumed what Dr. Baker called “a fatal level of fentanyl under normal circumstances”—more than three times the lethal level.

But Dr. Baker appeared to change his mind after meeting with FBI officials and prosecutors from the office of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison—a rabidly partisan Democrat and former member of the Nation of Islam. Dr. Baker later testified at Chauvin’s trial that Floyd was murdered and that his heart disease and drug use were “contributing” but “not direct causes” of his death.

Yet, during a deposition for an unrelated case in August 2023, Former Hennepin County Attorney Amy Sweasy Tamburino testified that Dr. Baker told her at the time that he had found no evidence of asphyxia, strangulation, or any injury to Floyd’s neck. “He said to me, ‘Amy, what happens when the actual evidence doesn’t match up with the public narrative that everyone’s already decided on?’” Tamburino testified under oath. “And then he said, ‘This is the kind of case that ends careers.’”

When the trial began in March 2021, the Hennepin County Courthouse in downtown Minneapolis had to be barricaded with high fences, concrete barriers, and barbed wire to keep out the mob, which had been whipped into a frenzy by BLM and D.C. race grifters like Al Sharpton and Rep. Maxine Waters, who descended on the burned-out city like vultures.

Chauvin’s defense team submitted training manuals showing the maximal restraint technique, in which an officer places a shin on a suspect’s shoulder blade. They also presented viewpoints from the perspective of the officers’ body cameras, appearing to show that Chauvin was applying pressure from his shin to Floyd’s back, rather than his knee on his neck, which was consistent with Dr. Baker’s finding no damage to Floyd’s neck.

Despite this, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified that he was unfamiliar with the technique—an apparent lie immediately contradicted by seven officers interviewed by Collins. “I heard him say that, “said retired Minneapolis Police Lieutenant Lindsay Herron. “It’s tough to hear people lie. Just straight lie.”

Two days after the documentary’s release, Chauvin was stabbed 22 times in prison, allegedly by a former Mexican Mafia member who did it on Black Friday to honor BLM. Chauvin survived the attack and is back in jail. Earlier that week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Chauvin’s appeal; the justices did not comment on their decision.

Another election year is beginning, and all the polls show Trump beating Biden nationally and in all seven swing states. Somewhere a Democrat strategist is saying, “We need another George Floyd.”

—Edward Welsch

(Correction: the eighth paragraph of the original version of this article incorrectly identified Keith Ellison as a Hennepin County attorney. He is the Attorney General of Minnesota.)

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