Newly leaked portions of officers’ George Floyd body camera video shows Floyd resisting officers’ attempts to get him into a squad car during his Minneapolis, Minnesota, arrest. It also captures Floyd saying he can’t breathe and telling officers he has claustrophobia.
The body cam was leaked to the UK Daily Mail, a British publication. You can watch a portion of it below. The video shows rookie officers Thomas Lane and J.A. Kueng. Lane orders Floyd out of his vehicle at gunpoint, but Floyd repeatedly resists cooperation, pleading with officers not to shoot him. The two officers try to get him into a squad car to no avail. Floyd repeatedly says he can’t breathe in the video and complains about being claustrophobic. A portion of the body cam video also shows Lane asking his training officer Derek Chauvin whether they should roll Floyd over because of “delirium,” which is a phenomenon known by law enforcement. Chauvin responds no and says that’s why an ambulance is coming. “I’ll probably just die this way,” Floyd says at one point in the newly released video. The two cops had responded to the scene because of a report that Floyd tried to pass counterfeit money.
Here’s a more than eight-minute portion of the body cam video obtained by Daily Mail. “The footage includes more than 18 minutes from Officer Alex Kueng’s bodycam and 10 minutes from Officer Thomas Lane,” Daily Mail explained of the leak. At one point, Floyd says, “Y’all, I am going to die in here. I’m going to die, man. I just had COVID, man. I don’t want to go back to that.”
You can read the full Daily Mail report with all of the body camera videos the publication obtained here. Transcripts of the body cam videos were previously released. Read the criminal complaint against Chauvin here.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Videos Were Available for Viewing in the Courthouse Only & Weren’t Supposed to Be Released
Although it’s not clear who leaked the body cam video, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that the judge in the case did allow in-person viewing of the videos at the courthouse, but has declined to release them all publicly.
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the body cam videos total 65 minutes, and the court allowed people to view them by appointment only. Media organizations have filed a motion seeking the videos’ release.
Lane’s attorney Earl Gray filed the videos as evidence to argue that the charges against Lane should be dismissed, the newspaper reported.
The Star-Tribune reported that Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison denies that the leak came from his side. Gray has argued that the charges against Lane lack probable cause and should be dismissed.
The Star-Tribune reported that the full videos showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for about 9 minutes and 30 seconds. Chauvin is now facing second-degree murder and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges in connection with Floyd’s death, while the other three offices at the scene, Kueng, Lane and Tou Thao, are facing charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
An attorney representing the Floyd family, Ben Crump, released a statement saying the video release shows Floyd was not a threat to officers. “The police officers approached him with guns drawn, simply because he was a Black man,” his statement said. “As this video shows, he never posed any threat. The officers’ contradictions continue to build. If not for the videos, the world might never have known about the wrongs committed against George Floyd.”
The Autopsy Showed That Floyd Had a Heart Attack With Complications of Restraint & Neck Compression
There are now warring opinions – by independent pathologists and the Hennepin County Medical Examiner – into whether George Floyd asphyxiated because of the actions of Minneapolis police officers. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner says they didn’t find evidence of that; they say he died of a heart attack but also mention restraint.
In a late evening press release on June 1, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office stated that Floyd’s cause of death was “Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression. Manner of death: Homicide. How injury occurred: Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s).” They listed other significant conditions as “Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.”
They added, “Manner of death classification is a statutory function of the medical examiner, as part of death certification for purposes of vital statistics and public health. Manner of death is not a legal determination of culpability or intent, and should not be used to usurp the judicial process. Such decisions are outside the scope of the Medical Examiner’s role or authority. Under Minnesota state law, the Medical Examiner is a neutral and independent office and is separate and distinct from any prosecutorial authority or law enforcement agency.”
The ME released the autopsy report for Floyd on June 3. It indicated he was an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19. “The decedent was known to be positive for 2019-nCoV RNA on 4/3/2020,” the report says. “Since PCR positivity for 2019-nCoV RNA can persist for weeks after the onset and resolution of clinical disease, the autopsy result most likely reflects asymptomatic but persistent PCR positivity from previous infection.” You can read the full autopsy report here.