A newly released evidence of George Floyd dying moments reveals more desperate scene than previously known when an officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck.
Floyd uttered “I can’t breathe” not a handful of times, as previous videotapes showed, but more than 20 times in all. He cried out not just for his dead mother but for his children too. Before his final breaths, Floyd gasped: “They’ll kill me. They’ll kill me.”
As Floyd shouted for his life, an officer yelled back at him to “stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.”
The chilling transcripts of Minneapolis police body camera footage, made public on Wednesday, were filed in state court as part of an effort by one of the officers on the scene, Thomas Lane, 37, to have charges that he aided and abetted Floyd’s murder thrown out by a judge,the New York Times reported.
Floyd, 46, died after another officer, Derek Chauvin, 44, pressed his knee down onto his neck for more than eight minutes until he was no longer moving.
Chauvin, who was on the force for 19 years, faces second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges in Floyd’s death and up to 40 years in prison if he is convicted. Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, 26, who were both rookie officers, and Tou Thao, 34, also face 40 years in prison if convicted on charges of aiding and abetting Floyd’s murder. All four officers were fired.
Even before he was on the ground, Floyd said he was in physical distress, telling officers, who were trying to get him into a squad car, that he was claustrophobic and could not breathe.
At one point, according to one transcript, he said: “Momma, I love you. Tell my kids I love them. I’m dead.”
At another point, Chauvin asked if Floyd was high on something; Lane said he assumed so, and Kueng said they had found a pipe on him. One autopsy report found traces of illegal drugs in Floyd’s body.
“Relax,” Thao told Floyd.
“I can’t breathe,” Floyd said.
“You’re fine,” Kueng replied. “You’re talking fine.”
“Deep breath,” Lane added.
The new court filings include 82 pages of body camera transcripts as well as the 60-page transcript of Lane’s interview with investigators from Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
In that interview, when he was asked whether he felt at the time that Floyd was having a medical emergency, Lane replied, “Yeah, I felt maybe that something was going on.”
Source: The New York Times