George Floyd's family was told other officers 'will be charged' following autopsy results, lawyer says

"The two knees at the back compressing his lungs, which is equally important as the neck compression," lawyer Ben Crump said, citing an autopsy paid for by Floyd's family.

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

The attorney for George Floyd's family, Ben Crump, said Tuesday that authorities have told them the other three officers involved in the detainment that preceded his death will be charged.

Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd's neck for nearly 9 minutes as he exclaimed "I can't breathe," has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The three other officers involved in the incident, two of whom restrained Floyd's lower body and one of whom stood by as the horrific scene unfolded, have been fired but not charged.

"We heard that they expect to charge those officers," Crump said on the "TODAY" show Tuesday. "And now with the autopsy, the independent autopsy from the family that pays particular attention to the two knees at the back compressing his lungs, which is equally important as the neck compression cutting off the flow of air ... they will be charged, we understand. That is what the families are hearing from the authorities."

"He was dying for breath," Crump said.

NBC News was unable to independently confirm Crump's assertions about further charges.

The Hennepin County medical examiner said Monday that Floyd's death was a homicide that occurred as a result of "a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s)."

The autopsy listed other "significant" conditions, including hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use, the medical examiner said in a news release.

But pathologists hired by Floyd's family said earlier Monday that Floyd had no underlying medical problems that caused or contributed to his death. One of those pathologists, Dr. Michael Baden, the former chief medical examiner of New York City, said Floyd died of "asphyxia due to compression of the neck and the back."

Crump said Tuesday that he also believes Chauvin will face upgraded charges.

"If this was you and I, nobody would question first-degree murder," Crump said. "But why is it when a white police officer kills a black person in America, we act like it’s such a difficult thing to charge them with what we would be charged with?"

NBC News was unable on Tuesday to immediately reach Chauvin, his lawyer or the other officers involved.

A spokesperson for Keith Ellison's office on Tuesday told NBC News that: "All I’m able to say is that the Attorney General continues to do a thorough review of this case."

Ellison, who has been appointed to lead the prosecution of any cases arising from Floyd's death, said Monday that he plans to charge the four officers involved, including Chauvin, to "the highest degree of accountability that the law and the facts will support."