MINNEAPOLIS – A court on Wednesday unsealed new police body-camera footage taken during the arrest of George Floyd, showing him being startled, apologetic and fearful before being pinned under an officer’s knee and ultimately dying.
Footage from cameras worn by officers Thomas Lane and Alexander Kueng captured the struggle between Floyd and the police, leading up to officer Derek Chauvin placing his knee on the man’s neck for about 9 1/2 minutes — even longer than previously estimated.
Floyd’s death during that May 25 arrest sparked worldwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism.
The two sets of videos are evidence entered by Lane, in his bid to have charges against him dropped. A Hennepin County judge allowed members of the public to view the video evidence in person on Wednesday, but not to record the footage.
Officers were called Cup Foods convenience store, answering a call that Floyd might have passed a bad $20 bill. The newly unsealed footage shows:
- Lane approaching Floyd’s car and using the back of his flashlight to tap on the driver’s side window.
- Floyd is visibly startled in the vehicle.
- Lane pulls a service weapon and demands to see Floyd’s hands.
- A confused Floyd looks and leans back, asking, “What did we do, Mr. Officer?”
- After saying, “I’m sorry officer,” Floyd puts both hands on the steering wheel.
- “I’m so sorry,” Floyd can be heard telling Lane again, explaining that he wants to comply. “I got shot the same way, Mr. Officer, before.”
- Floyd is eventually handcuffed.
- Lane and Kueng try pushing him into the back of their squad car. But he resists, explaining on multiple occasions that he’s claustrophobic and had recently battled COVID-19.
- The officers try to get him into the car on the driver’s side, but he eventually falls out the passenger side and says, “Thank you.”
- After failing to get Floyd in the car, Chauvin ends up on with his knee on Floyd’s neck for about 9 1/2 minutes, time codes on the footage showed.
- Throughout much of the time under Chauvin’s knee, Floyd begs for help.
- “I can’t breathe. Please. Your knee in my neck. S—,” Floyd can be heard pleading.
- Chauvin’s knee remains on Floyd’s neck, even as he appears to pass out and up to the moment he is rolled on to a paramedic’s stretcher.
Prosecutors had originally said Chauvin was on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, and that length of time has become an enduring symbol of the protests. Demonstrators have often gone into 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence, to mark the amount of time Floyd was under Chauvin’s knee.
Weeks later, prosecutors said that amount of time was less, 7 minutes and 46 seconds, before Wednesday’s footage appeared show it was actually longer.
Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder. The other three officers involved in the deadly arrest — Tou Thao, Lane and Kueng — have also been arrested and charged with aiding and abetting murder.
Earlier Wednesday, Floyd’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and the four officers.
Shaquille Brewster reported from Minneapolis and David K. Li from New York.