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National News

Bodycam Video of George Floyd Arrest Is Leaked

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Bodycam Video of George Floyd Arrest Is Leaked

2020-08-05 14:07:02

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Officers demanding George Floyd get out of his car (Image source: Screenshot)

It's been more than two months, and George Floyd's death by the knee of a then-Minneapolis police officer is no less disturbing. A video of leaked bodycam footage was released, disputing the officers' insistence that he was resisting arrest before he was thrown on the ground with a knee to his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The previous video we saw showed the officers approaching Floyd's car and a struggle, as well as a struggle with him in the police car. It was not known why they struggled, but the officers said he was resisting arrest, and that's why they put him on the ground and kneeled on his neck.

What began this confrontation was the police receiving a call that he may have tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill. It has not been confirmed if it was counterfeit. Two crumpled $20 bills were found wedged between the seats later, along with two $1 bills.

Officers have contended Floyd was trying to hide something in the car when he was being arrested. They didn't know if he was trying to reach for a gun. His passenger, however, stepped out of the car, and no one appears to stop him in the video.

The bodycam footage is from the cameras of Alex Kueng and Thomas Lane, the first two officers on the scene. They were both fired after the encounter, along with Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao, the second pair of officers to arrive. Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd's neck, has been charged with second-degree murder, and the other three have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

In the video, Kueng and Lane are seen approaching Floyd's vehicle. Lane knocks on the window with his flashlight. He drew his gun right away when Floyd opened the door and ordered him to put his hands on the wheel. This appears to greatly upset Floyd, and he starts begging for his life.

"Please don't shoot me. Please, man," he said. "Please, man. I just lost my mom, man. Please don't shoot me, Mr. Officer, please." He also appears to say he knows someone who was shot by a cop that same way or that he once was before. It's not clear.

Lane continues to tell him to put his hands on the wheel. He also tells him to put his hands on top of his head. Both officers reach into the car and drag Floyd out despite his begging them not to shoot and putting his hands on the wheel and his head. He is handcuffed and taken to a police vehicle, but he begs them not to put him inside. He still has not been informed of the possible charges against him or given Miranda rights.

"I am claustrophobic, for real," Floyd told the officers. "I'm going to die in here. I'm going to die, man."

He sits down in the car but leaves his legs outside. The officers struggle and argue with him, trying to get him inside. "I'm claustrophobic. I'm claustrophobic. I got anxiety," said Floyd. "When I stop breathing, when I stop breathing, it's going to go off on me, man."

Floyd asks them throughout just to put him on the ground instead of in the car. They continue to try to force him into the car.  Thao and Chauvin arrive to assist. Floyd does end up on the ground, and that's where the video ends. We know that after nine minutes of Chauvin kneeling on his neck, Floyd was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

Ben Crump, an attorney representing Floyd's family, issued a statement saying that the bodycam footage proves Floyd was not a threat and accused the former officers of drawing their guns only because Floyd was a Black man. 

"The police officers approached him with guns drawn simply because he was a Black man. 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."

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