MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – As George Floyd told Minneapolis police officers that he could not breathe more than 20 times in the moments leading up to his death, the officer who pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck dismissed his pleas and said, “It takes a lot. oxygen to speak, “according to transcripts of body camera video recordings released Wednesday.
Transcripts of the body camera videos of officers Thomas Lane and J. Kueng provide the most detailed account yet of what happened when the police arrested Floyd on May 25, and reveals more than was said later. Floyd, a black man who was handcuffed, was put on the ground.
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“You’re going to kill me, man,” Floyd said, according to a transcript of the video from Lane’s body camera.
“Then stop talking, stop screaming. It takes a lot of oxygen to speak, ”said Derek Chauvin, the white officer who held his knee against Floyd’s neck for almost eight minutes, even after Floyd stopped moving.
“They will kill me. They will kill me I can’t breathe I can’t breathe, ”said Floyd.
Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, had no immediate comment Wednesday.
The transcripts were released Wednesday as part of Lane’s request that the case against him be dismissed. Lane’s attorney Earl Gray said in a memo that there is no probable cause to charge his client, according to all the evidence and the law.
Gray painted the image of a rookie officer who trusted Chauvin, a superior officer, after Floyd had been acting erratically, fighting and hurting himself during an arrest. Gray said that once Floyd was on the ground, Lane had asked twice if the officers should throw Floyd at his side, and Chauvin said no.
Gray also sent the body camera images, but that was not immediately made public. The transcripts show that Floyd seems cooperative at times but he gets agitated when he begs not to be put on a police car, and repeatedly says that he is claustrophobic.
“Oh, God, don’t leave me, man, please, man, please, man,” he begged, then added, “I’ll do anything you tell me, man. … I’m claustrophobic, that’s all.”
Gray wrote that Floyd began to shake from side to side and was “banging his face against the squadron’s glass and started bleeding from his mouth.” Officers brought Floyd to the ground and “the plan was to restrain him so that he could not move and hurt himself further,” Gray wrote.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and involuntary manslaughter. Lane, Kueng and Tou Thao are accused of aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. Lane was holding Floyd’s legs at the time, Kueng was in Floyd’s midsection and Thao was looking at nearby passersby. All four officers were fired.
A message left with an attorney for Floyd’s family did not immediately return. A spokesman for the attorney general’s office said prosecutors plan to oppose the motion to dismiss.
As part of his court filing, Gray also submitted a transcript of Lane’s interview with state investigators and police department training materials on restraining detentions. Gray wrote that all the evidence exonerates her client and that it is not “fair or reasonable” for Lane to be tried.
Gray said in a memo that his client’s body camera video shows the encounter with Floyd from the moment Lane entered the scene to the point that Floyd was taken to an ambulance; Lane entered the ambulance and assisted with CPR, according to the transcript.
Lane repeatedly told Floyd to show his hands, and he told investigators that he pulled out his gun at first because Floyd was looking for something, but he sheathed it once Floyd showed his hands. Transcripts of the body camera video show that Floyd initially said he had been shot before, and pleaded with police not to shoot him.
Gray said Floyd was acting erratically and had foam in his mouth. According to the body camera video transcripts, when asked about the foam and if he was on to something, Floyd said he was scared and had been playing basketball.
As officers struggled to get Floyd into the squad car, Floyd said, “I can’t breathe,” and “I want to hit the ground,” the transcripts say.
Once Floyd was on the ground, Lane told the other officers, “You have to be on to something.” and asked twice if the officers should turn Floyd aside; Chauvin said no.
“Lane had no basis to believe that Chauvin was wrong in making that decision,” Gray wrote.
Viewers repeatedly told officers to check Floyd’s pulse, and after Kueng did so, he said, “I can’t find one.”
“Huh?” Chauvin said, according to the transcript of the Keung body camera video.
Lane told state investigators that Chauvin was not Lane’s field training officer, but that he had trained Kueng and was someone Lane had previously approached for guidance. According to a transcript of that interview, an investigator said it appeared that Lane’s guts were telling him something was wrong with the way Floyd was being restrained.
“Yes. I would say I felt that maybe it could have been handled differently or we should re-evaluate what we are doing, I think that is what I was getting at,” Lane said.
Gray argued in his memo that to accuse Lane of aiding and abetting, prosecutors must demonstrate that Lane played a knowledgeable role in the commission of a crime. He said there is no evidence that Lane played an intentional role or that he knew that Chauvin was committing a crime, i.e. assault.
“The decision to restrain Floyd was reasonably justified,” Gray wrote, adding: “Based on Floyd’s actions up to this point, the officers had no idea what he would do next: hurt himself, hurt the officers, run away or anything else, but he was not cooperating. “
Gray wrote that Lane’s trust in Chauvin was “reasonable and not criminal.”
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