George Floyd — Bodycam Video Footage Released

  • The recordings from body cameras, fitted on former Minneapolis officers Thomas Lane and Alexander Kueng, are part of an ongoing criminal case against them and two others.
  • Lane’s and Kueng’s lawyers had asked that the video be made public.
  • Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill allowed journalists and the public to view the videos by appointment.

New police body camera videos have been released by a court showing George Floyd pleading for mercy. His fading voice is heard saying, “I can’t breathe,” before he goes still. The videos capture the officers’ lack of urgency in rendering help after Floyd stopped moving.

George Floyd was an unarmed African-American man who died on May 25, 2020, after white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for over seven minutes while other officers helped restrain Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota United States. Floyd’s death has been compared to the 2014 death of Eric Garner, who repeated “I can’t breathe” while being suffocated by arresting officers.

The recordings from body cameras, fitted on former Minneapolis officers Thomas Lane and Alexander Kueng, are part of an ongoing criminal case against them and two others. Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill allowed journalists and the public to view the videos by appointment.

The judge has, however, declined to make the videos public. Lane’s and Kueng’s lawyers had asked that the video be made public. Floyd, an African American man, died on May 25 after a white police officer, Chauvin, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and forty six seconds. Floyd was buried last month in Houston, amid calls for racial justice from speakers.

Earlier, transcripts giving a detailed account of Floyd’s arrest and last moments were made public. In the transcripts, it was noted that Floyd said “I can’t breathe” 20 times. His pleas were dismissed by Derek Chauvin who said, “it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.”

At one point Floyd said he couldn’t breathe, adding “you’re going to kill me man.” Chauvin then replies, “then stop talking, stop yelling.” Before dying he said, “Momma I love you. Tell my kids I love them. I’m dead.”

The transcripts were released in an effort by the defense to have the charges against Lane thrown out. He was a new recruit who had been on the job for a few days before the incident occurred. Lane is charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder and manslaughter.

Lane was released last month on a $750,000 bond with conditions. The other two former officers facing the same charges, Kueng and Tuo Thao, were also released after posting a $750,000 bail. Chauvin, who faces second and third degree murder and second degree manslaughter, remains in custody.

The death of Floyd has sparked outrage from all quarters, and ignited anger over police killings of black Americans. Widespread anti-racism protests were witnessed in all US states and around the world. The protests were violent in the beginning, but later on turned peaceful.

Minneapolis is the largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and the principal city of the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Minneapolis and its neighbor Saint Paul make up the Twin Cities, with Minneapolis being the larger of the two.

A number of police officers have used a lot of force during the widespread protests against the murder of Floyd. Some of these officers have been fired, while others have been charged. The demonstrators were calling for justice for Floyd, as well as police reforms where they advocated for disbandment and dismantling of the police force.

Since Floyd’s burial, a number of reforms have been proposed. The Minneapolis City Council has begun the process of replacing the police force. The proposed charter aims at replacing the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention.

Police Chief Medaria Arradondo has pledged to reform his police departmenta month after the death of Floyd. The police chief and Mayor Jacob Frey said that they have begun pushing for policy changes and new rules, particularly regarding police investigations.

One such rule is aimed at preventing officers involved in the use of force from reviewing body camera footage before the initial police report is completed. “The policies also restrict consultation with certain representatives immediately following a critical incident and clarify time requirements for reporting.” the police chief said.

Last month, the US House of Representatives passed far-reaching legislation on police reforms, a month after Floyd’s death. The legislation is aimed at lifting legal obstacles that protect police officers from lawsuits, banning no-knock raids used by police, and halting the flow of military surplus equipment to police departments. It is named after Floyd.

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Juliet Norah

I am a freelance journalist is passionate about news. I derive pleasure in informing people about the happenings in the world

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