The Associated Press reported Thursday that new body camera footage from two officers involved in the arrest and subsequent death of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 has been released — and what the videos show is nothing short of disturbing.
According to the AP, the footage was pulled from the body cameras of now-former Minneapolis police officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng. Both have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder over Floyd’s alleged killing, according to NPR, and are out on bond along with ex-officer Tou Thao, who was also present at the time of Floyd’s death.
The officer who infamously kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes before his death, Derek Chauvin, remains in prison on second-degree murder charges, the AP reports.
“I’m not a bad guy!”
Fox News reported that the footage from Lane’s and Kueng’s body cameras, which can be viewed by appointment but has not been made public, begins by showing “the officers approaching Floyd outside a convenience store, where he was accused of trying to pass off a counterfeit $20 bill.”
Lane, who had been called to the scene, started by asking Floyd to step out of his vehicle, but when the 46-year-old Black man didn’t show the officer his hands, things escalated. “Lane pulled his gun,” the AP reported, “leading Floyd to say he had been shot before.”
Floyd was subsequently handcuffed, according to Fox, but he can be heard on the footage begging officers “not to put him in a squad car because of his claustrophobia,” Fox noted. A struggle ensued, and the AP reported that Floyd even lost a shoe among the chaos.
“I’m not a bad guy! … I’m not that kind of guy,” Floyd said as the officers struggled to put him into the police car, according to the AP. “I just had COVID, man, I don’t want to go back to that.” An autopsy following Floyd’s death indeed showed that the 46-year-old had tested positive for the coronavirus, Reuters reported last month.
“Tell my kids I love them”
Floyd soon ended up on the ground, which is where the bodycam footage meets up with widely shared video that depicted officers “holding him down,” according to the AP. “Chauvin and Kueng each grip one of Floyd’s handcuffed hands to hold them in position behind his back, with Kueng’s knee appearing to press on Floyd’s bottom or just below. Lane is at Floyd’s feet,” the AP reported.
Over the next several minutes, Chauvin — whose own bodycam fell off earlier in the struggle, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune — keeps his knee on Floyd’s back, despite pleas from the 46-year-old that he couldn’t breathe. “Tell my kids I love them,” Floyd said in the footage captured by Lane’s bodycam, according to an earlier report from Fox. “I’m dead.”
Chauvin responds to Floyd’s pleas with nonchalance. “Then stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk,” he said, according to Fox. As the AP reported, the new footage captured the other officers making small talk as Floyd breathed his final breaths:
“I think he’s passing out,” one officer says. “You guys all right, though?” someone asks. “Yeah — good so far,” says one. Another — apparently Lane — says: “My knee might be a little scratched, but I’ll survive.” Kueng reaches out with a free hand to pull a pebble from the police SUV’s tire tread and toss it to the street.
The Star-Tribune alleged that the footage also reveals a lack of urgency from paramedics who arrived on the scene minutes later. Lane’s bodycam showed him performing CPR after Floyd was placed in an ambulance, the AP reported, but to no avail.
The judge in the case has not provided an explanation for why the footage is only available for viewing by appointment, according to Fox. It remains unclear when and if it will be released publicly.