According to court documents obtained by Radar, Thao is asking the judge to order sanctions against those involved with the alleged crime.
In a newly filed motion, Thao’s legal team takes issue with the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, Dr. Andrew Baker, who was put in charge of completing Floyd's autopsy.
Thao claims Baker met with prosecutors to explain his findings on May 26, 2020. He allegedly convened that “[t]he autopsy revealed no physical evidence suggesting that Mr. Floyd died of asphyxiation. Mr. Floyd did not exhibit signs of petechiae, damage to his airways or thyroid, brain bleeding, bone injuries, or internal bruising”.
Following the meeting, Baker had a conversation with the former Medical Examiner of Washington D.C., Dr. Roger Mitchell, before finalizing his findings on the autopsy.
Thao says Mitchell read his initial report and asked Baker, “what happened, because Mitchell didn’t think it sounded like Baker’s words.”
Baker said that he didn’t think Derek Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck played a role. After their phone call, Mitchell said he was going to write an op-ed in the Washington Post which would be critical of Baker’s initial report.
Thao says Mitchell also told Baker, “you don’t want to be the medical examiner who tells everyone they didn’t see what they saw. You don’t want to be the smartest person in the room and be wrong."
He claims Mitchell said, “there was a way to articulate the cause and manner of death that ensures you are telling the truth about what you are observing and via all of the investigation. Mitchell said neck compression has to be in the diagnosis.”
On June 1, 2020, Baker released his final autopsy report which included Chauvin’s neck compression as the cause of death.
Lawyers representing Thao write, “This was contrary to Dr. Baker’s conclusion before speaking with Dr. Mitchell twice.”
Thao’s lawyer writes,” Dr. Mitchell’s conduct meets the elements to be found guilty of committing the crime of coercion. Dr. Mitchell orally made the threat to unlawfully injure Dr. Baker’s trade unless Dr. Baker changed his autopsy findings.”
“Dr. Mitchell told Dr. Baker to include neck compression in the final findings and warned Dr. Baker he was going to publish a damaging op-ed in the Washington Post. After Dr. Baker changed his findings, Dr. Mitchell did not publish the op-ed,” he ended.
As a result, Thao is asking the court to dismiss all charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.