Minneapolis police body-camera videos of George Floyd’s fatal arrest showed him begging for an officer to remove a knee from his neck in the moments before his death.
A Minnesota judge on Friday ordered the public release of the footage nearly three months after Floyd’s death, which sparked nationwide protests against police violence and racism. Floyd was Black and the officer charged with murder is white.
The videos, roughly an hour in length, came from the body cameras of former officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, who were the first to respond to a store where Floyd was accused of passing a fake $20 bill.
The footage began at 8:09 p.m. on May 25 as Lane and Kueng approached Floyd’s vehicle and quickly escalated after Lane drew his gun.
Lane, Kueng and a third officer have been charged with aiding and abetting murder. Derek Chauvin, a fourth officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, has been charged with murder.
Without explaining the reason for the stop, Lane pulled Floyd from the car and Floyd and passenger Shawanda Hill told police he was previously shot in a similar situation. Hill told them he has “a thing going on” about the police.
Floyd begged the officers not to put him in a police car, saying he was claustrophobic and has coronavirus before they push him into the back seat.
Floyd then got out, at which point the officers put him face down on the ground and Chauvin put his knee on Floyd’s neck for around 9-1/2 minutes.
Around 16 minutes into the footage, Floyd uttered his final words: “Man, I can’t breathe.”
Floyd was on the ground around six minutes before Kueng checked his pulse and said he could not find one. When emergency responders arrived two minutes later, they loaded Floyd into the ambulance rather than treating him on the spot.
It was only when Floyd was inside the ambulance, after several more pulse checks, that Lane began chest compressions. Five minutes later a medic ventilated Floyd, 10 minutes after Kueng failed to find a pulse.
Journalists and members of the public were previously allowed to view the video by appointment, and a British newspaper published parts of the video before media organizations requested they be made public.
(Reporting by Reuters; editing by Bill Tarrant and Cynthia Osterman)