Transcripts of police body camera video in the minutes leading up to George Floyd’s death show that he pleaded some 20 times that he couldn’t breathe and that one of the officers expressed concern about Floyd’s well-being, but was rebuffed by his superior.
The transcripts from cameras worn by former officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng were filed in Minnesota state court on Wednesday as part of a motion to dismiss charges against Lane.
As officer Derek Chauvin had Floyd pinned under his knee, face-down to the pavement and complaining that he could not breathe, Lane, who was holding Floyd’s legs, asked Chauvin whether the suspect should be moved.
Floyd: My face is getting it bad.
Lane: Here, should we get his legs up, or is this good?
Chauvin: Leave him.
And, again, as Floyd is heard speaking for the last time:
Floyd: Ah! Ah! Please. Please. Please.
Lane: Should we roll him on his side?
Chauvin: No, he’s staying put where we got him.
Lane: Okay. I just worry about the excited delirium or whatever.
Chauvin: Well that’s why we have the ambulance coming.
Lane: Okay, I suppose.
Shortly after that exchange someone in the crowd gathered nearby notices that Floyd isn’t breathing. The officers subsequently confirm that he’s non-responsive.
Earlier in the transcript, the officers plead with Floyd to put his hands up, but the suspect repeatedly expresses concern about getting shot. The officers also order him into a squad car, but Floyd refuses, saying he is claustrophobic and would rather be restrained on the pavement. The transcript has officers discussing whether Floyd is under the influence of drugs.
Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Lane, Kueng and a fourth former officer, Tou Thao, are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. All four officers were dismissed following the May 25 incident.
None of the former officers has yet entered a plea.
Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, said in an interview Wednesday that the court should make the video from the body cameras public.
“I think the public should see it,” he said. “That shows the whole picture. If they watch the whole thing, people … couldn’t cherry pick parts of it.”
“It’s not a case where he’s standing by watching another cop pound on somebody’s head,” Gray said. “This is a case where my client twice — twice — asked if we should turn him over and the answer from [Chauvin] was no.”