KSTP & Callan Gray
Updated: July 15, 2020 11:56 PM
Created: July 15, 2020 10:04 AM
Body-camera footage made public Wednesday from two Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd's arrest captured a panicked and fearful Floyd pleading with the officers in the minutes before his death, saying "I'm not a bad guy!" as they tried to wrestle him into a squad car.
"I'm not that kind of guy," Floyd says as he struggles against the officers. "I just had COVID, man, I don't want to go back to that." An onlooker pleads with Floyd to stop struggling, saying, "You can't win!" Floyd replies, "I don't want to win!"
A few minutes later, with Floyd now face-down on the street, the cameras record his fading voice, still occasionally saying, "I can't breathe" before he goes still.
The recordings from Officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng are part of the criminal case against them and two other officers in Floyd's May 25 death. Derek Chauvin, who held his knee against Floyd's neck for nearly eight minutes, is charged with second-degree murder. Lane, Kueng and another officer, Tou Thao, are charged with aiding and abetting.
All four officers were fired a day after Floyd's death. Journalists and members of the public were allowed to view the footage Wednesday by appointment. Judge Peter Cahill, without explanation, has declined to allow publication of the video.
The footage shows the officers' view of a death already widely seen on a bystander's cellphone video, which set off tumultuous protests in Minneapolis that quickly spread around the world and sparked a national reckoning on race and policing.
Floyd appears distraught from the moment officers ask him to step out of his vehicle near a south Minneapolis corner grocery, where he was suspected of passing a counterfeit $20 bill.
Lane can be seen knocking on the driver’s side window with a flashlight, saying “let me see your hands” through the glass. In Lane’s body camera footage, Floyd appears to be startled, his left hand is up. He opens the door slightly saying sorry.
Then Lane can be heard telling Floyd to “stay in the car. Let me see your other hand. Both hands.” To which, Floyd replies “I’m sorry, I didn’t do nothing.” Lane then pulls his gun out saying “Put your hand up there, put your f****** hand up.” Floyd asks “What did I do though”.
In the video, Floyd can be seen putting his hands up, telling the officers he’s been shot before. At Lane’s direction, he puts his hands on the wheel saying “yes sir, I’m sorry sir”. Lane can be heard telling Floyd to put his foot back into the vehicle.
Floyd is then instructed to put his hands on his head, which he does, leaning towards the steering wheel. At times, Floyd appears to be crying. He can be heard telling the officers that he just lost his mom, urgently telling them not to shoot him.
Lane replies, “I’m not shooting. Step out and face away.”
In the body camera footage, you can see Lane pull Floyd out of the vehicle by his arm. Kueng helps put Floyd in handcuffs.
About six minutes into the video, Kueng and Lane walk Floyd over to the squad. During that time, they ask him if he’s “on something," to which Floyd responds “no." Kueng tells him he’s acting erratic and Floyd replies, “I’m scared, man.”
The footage shows the officers searching Floyd at the squad, pulling something out of his pocket. They struggle for three minutes to get Floyd into the vehicle.
Floyd can be heard repeatedly telling them that he’s claustrophobic, asking the officers to roll the window down. They agree.
At one point, he sits down on the back seat but his head and feet are out of the vehicle. Floyd can be heard telling the officers he’ll count to three and then get in the squad, closing his eyes briefly to count. A bystander is speaking to Floyd as well.
At this point in Lane’s body camera video, more than nine minutes have passed.
Lane goes to the other side of the squad, as Kueng pushes Floyd into the squad. In the video, Floyd can be seen falling into the space between seats and tells officers he can’t breathe. Lane pulls Floyd through from the other side. He partially comes out of the vehicle on that side.
As the struggle continues, Chauvin and Thao appear in the footage. Chauvin is seen holding onto Floyd, assisting the other officers. Kueng comes around to that side of the vehicle. The body camera video appears to show Kueng bring Floyd to the ground.
In the struggle, Floyd loses a shoe. What appears to be Chauvin's chest-mounted body camera winds up underneath the squad car, and Floyd eventually winds up on the pavement with the officers holding him down.
The videos show Chauvin restraining Floyd’s head and arm, while Kueng is at his torso with at least one knee on Floyd’s back, and Lane is restraining his legs. At this point, about 11 minutes have passed in Lane’s body camera video.
They can be seen assessing whether to use what appears to be a hobble device.
About five and a half minutes later, it appears Lane eases up on his hold of Floyd's legs. After another minute, he can be heard asking if they should roll Floyd to his side.
About eight minutes after they first brought Floyd to the ground, Kueng is seen taking his knee off Floyd’s back as Lane, who is now standing, can be heard saying “he’s not responsive now”.
Lane again can be heard asking if they should move him to his side. Kueng can be seen checking for a pulse.
Chauvin continues to keep his knee on Floyd’s neck and arm, not releasing until the stretcher arrives. Chauvin, Kueng and Lane can be seen helping EMTs load Floyd into the ambulance, about 21 minutes into Lane’s body camera video.
Lane can be seen riding in the ambulance, performing CPR on Floyd for about two minutes until the EMTs bring over a device to do compressions. Lane holds Floyd’s head briefly before Floyd is intubated.
Before the ambulance left, Kueng can be seen holding up a body camera and asking Lane if it’s his. Lane said no, so Kueng asks Chauvin, who takes the body camera without a word.
The ambulance parks a few blocks away from the store for several minutes while Lane and the EMTs work on Floyd, rather than heading straight to the hospital, even though they all know that Floyd is in full cardiac arrest, as indicated by dispatcher audio.
A coalition of news organizations and attorneys for Lane and Kueng has said that making the videos public would provide a more complete picture of what happened when Floyd was taken into custody.
The viewing of the video took place on the same day Floyd's family attorney Ben Crump was announcing a lawsuit against the city and the police officers involved in his death.
The body camera videos and transcripts were filed in court last week by Lane's attorney, Earl Gray, as part of a request to have Lane's case dismissed. Gray said at the time that he wanted the videos to be made public, telling the Star Tribune that they would show the "whole picture." Gray said the bystander video shows just the last piece of what happened and "is not fair."
Gray's request highlighted portions of the body camera video that show Floyd "actively resisting and acting erratic" with officers. It also noted Floyd's "request" to be put on the ground. Gray also argued that Lane did not have a clear view of what Chauvin was doing.
Kueng's attorney, Tom Plunkett, has also asked that the video be made public.
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