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Just as the world begins to catch its collective breath after two months of protests and riots, leaked footage from the body camera of one of the rookie officers charged in the death of George Floyd has been released.
The footage, which is just over 8 1/2 minutes long, was published by the Daily Mail and captures the initial contact with Floyd. The one certainty is that those convinced that the cops killed Floyd see one thing, and those who believe Floyd played a role in the events that lead to his death see another — what remains indisputable is the knee to Floyd’s neck. Another certainty is that it will further stir passions.
In the footage, which is from Officer Thomas Lane’s body camera, the officer is seen approaching Floyd’s car and tapping on the driver’s-side window with his flashlight.
Lane opens the door and tells Floyd several times to show his hands, but Floyd does not fully comply and the officer quickly pulled his gun — it would later be determined that Floyd was unarmed.
Floyd tells Lane right away that he didn’t do anything and struggles to follow the officer’s directions. He starts sobbing, and when asked to step out of the vehicle he replied, “Please don’t shoot me.”
Irrationally terrified, he is also heard telling the officer that he just lost his mother.
Again and again, Floyd begs the officer not to shoot him, as he seems to be having a panic attack. Lane assured him he was not going to shoot him — both of the officer’s hands can be seen at this point, indicating that he has holstered his handgun.
It’s important to note that the toxicology report showed that Floyd had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death, as well as marijuana.
There’s somewhat of a struggle to get Floyd handcuffed, as he continues to insist that he didn’t do anything.
As Floyd is taken back to a patrol car, Lane begins talking to two other people at the scene, asking the man and woman why Floyd was “getting all squirrely and acting confused and getting weird like that?”
“Because he’s been shot before,” the woman replied, adding that Floyd has a “thing going on,” as she pointed to her head. “He has problems… all the time.”
As the officers try to put Floyd in a patrol car he cries out that he’s claustrophobic and begs with the officers, who keep trying to reassure him.
The irrational behavior continued as they attempted to place him inside the vehicle, with one officer telling Floyd they will roll down a window for him.
Floyd refuses to get into the car while insisting that he’s not resisting. At one point, he is heard saying, “I will die!”
“God, ya’ll do me bad,” he said. “I don’t want ya’ll to win.”
An officer repeats that they will roll a window down, as Floyd starts complaining he will not be able to breathe if he’s placed in the car — he was sitting in his own vehicle when first approached.
He is also heard telling the officers to put him on the ground.
While he gets into the patrol car, Floyd keeps protesting and complaining about being claustrophobic.
“I’m not a bad guy,” he cried.
Floyd appears to go into a full panic attack, screaming and complaining that he can’t breathe while sitting up in the backseat of the car.
Lane had gone around to the other side of the vehicle and opened the door, and Floyd would end up going all the way through and coming out the other side.
He is heard repeatedly telling the officers, “I want to lay on the ground!”
Someone is heard telling Floyd, who is on the ground at this point, that he’s going to have a heart attack.
“I know, I can’t breathe,” Floyd replied — this is where previously seen video picked up, showing the officers kneeling on Floyd, to include former Officer Derek Chauvin, who had his knee on the suspect’s neck.
Floyd’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, shared leaked footage from the body camera worn by former Officer Alexander Kueng on Instagram — the Minneapolis Star-Tribune had previously released the transcript of that footage.
The video is longer, and captures events as Floyd becomes less and less responsive:
The videos are sure to result in another wave of anguish, though there are a few facts revealed.
Here’s a sampling of those observations from Twitter:
I’m the bodycam footage of George Floyd’s arrest he said he’d have trouble breathing if they put him in the car, complained that he couldn’t breathe when cops weren’t touching him, and then said wanted to lay on the ground.
“I wanna lay on the ground.” pic.twitter.com/urkgncHlME
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 3, 2020
George Floyd had a significant dose of fentanyl in his system, a drug 50 times more powerful than morphine and which is known to cause respiratory distress. He combined it with meth and marijuana. It just strains credulity to claim that this played no role in his death whatsoever
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) August 4, 2020
What the George Floyd officer body cam footage reveals:
Floyd says he’s having issues breathing while sitting in the cop car w/ nobody touching him
Cops offered to roll down windows & turn AC on for him
He repeatedly yells “I wanna lay on the ground” instead of sitting in car
— Ashley StClair 🇺🇸 (@stclairashley) August 4, 2020
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