Transcripts of body camera videos reveal that the officer who pressed his knee against George Floyd’s neck was dismissive of the man’s pleas for help. One cop charged in the incident has petitioned the court to dismiss his case.
The footage, taken from body cameras worn by officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, reportedly shows Floyd pleading for his life in the minutes before he became unresponsive.
“You’re going to kill me, man,” the Minneapolis resident said, according to a transcript of Lane’s body camera video.
“Then stop talking, stop yelling. It takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk,” replied Derek Chauvin, the officer who sparked worldwide outrage after a video showed him pressing his keen on Floyd’s neck.
The arrest and subsequent death of Floyd on May 25 sparked rioting in Minneapolis. Similar protests quickly spread across the United States and to cities all over the globe.
The four officers involved in the infamous case of alleged police brutality were fired after footage of the incident surfaced. Chauvin faces charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter, while his colleagues – Lane, Kueng, and Tou Thao – are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.
The newly-released transcripts are part of a legal filing by Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, who has requested that the Hennepin County District Court dismiss the case against his client. The motion argues that Lane did not intentionally aid Chauvin and that his vantage point of the incident made it impossible to accurately assess the situation.
Lane, who was working his fourth full day as a full-time officer, reportedly asked Chauvin several times if Floyd should be turned on his side. Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police, said it wasn’t necessary.
According to Gray, Floyd acted erratically after initially being arrested and placed in a squad car, prompting the cops to restrain him for his own safety.
The transcripts reveal that as the officers forced Floyd into the vehicle, the 46-year-old black man said: “I can’t breathe” and “I want to lay on the ground.”
Floyd then allegedly began hitting his face on the glass window in the car, resulting in blood coming from his mouth. The Minneapolis resident was then removed from the squad car and placed on the ground. He was reportedly questioned about whether he had drugs in his system, after the officers observed foam around his mouth.
An autopsy showed that Floyd’s heart stopped as Chauvin restrained him, and listed heart disease, fentanyl intoxication, and recent methamphetamine use as “other significant conditions” which may have contributed to his death.
The motion to dismiss argues that when put in proper context, the decision to pin Floyd to the ground was justified. Gray also insists that the new footage exonerates his client, but the court has not made the recordings publicly available.
“I think the public should see it,” he said. “That shows the whole picture. If they watch the whole thing, people… couldn’t cherry-pick parts of it.”
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