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"I'm not a bad guy": Police bodycam video shows distraught George Floyd

Transcripts detail George Floyd's final moments
George Floyd transcripts show he pleaded 20 times that he couldn't breathe 00:42

Body-camera footage made public Wednesday from two Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd's arrest captured a panicked and fearful Floyd pleading with the officers in the minutes before his death, saying "I'm not a bad guy!" as they tried to wrestle him into a squad car.

The recordings from Officers Thomas Lane and J. Kueng are part of the criminal case against them and two other officers in Floyd's May 25 death. Derek Chauvin, who held his knee against Floyd's neck for nearly eight minutes, is charged with second-degree murder. Lane, Kueng and another officer, Tou Thao, are charged with aiding and abetting. All four officers were fired a day after Floyd's death.   

L to R: Former Minneapolis police officers Tou Thao, Derek Chauvin, J Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane are seen in arrest photos. Hennepin County Jail

Journalists and members of the public were allowed to view the footage Wednesday by appointment. Judge Peter Cahill, without explanation, has declined to allow publication of the video.  

In the video, Floyd is heard saying, "I'm not that kind of guy" as he struggles against the officers. 

George Floyd
George Floyd

"I just had COVID, man, I don't want to go back to that," Floyd says. An onlooker pleads with Floyd to stop struggling, saying, "You can't win!" Floyd replies, "I don't want to win!"

A few minutes later, with Floyd now face-down on the street, the cameras record his fading voice, still occasionally saying, "I can't breathe" before he goes still.

The footage shows the officers' view of a death already widely seen on a bystander's cellphone video, which set off tumultuous protests in Minneapolis that quickly spread around the world and sparked a national reckoning on race and policing.

Floyd appears distraught from the moment Lane and Kueng ask him to step out of his vehicle near a south Minneapolis corner grocery, where he was suspected of passing a counterfeit $20 bill. Lane is seen tapping on the window of the car where Floyd is sitting in the driver's seat, according to CBS Minnesota, which viewed the video Wednesday. After a short exchange, Lane asks Floyd to put his hands where he can see them. When Floyd does not immediately display his hands, Lane pulls his gun, leading Floyd to say he had been shot before.

Floyd eventually put his hands on the steering wheel, at some point putting his head down on the wheel before talking again to Lane, reports CBS Minnesota. Lane is seen essentially pulling Floyd out of the vehicle, the first time there appears to be a struggle.

Floyd's hands are soon handcuffed behind his back. Kueng leads Floyd over to the wall of a building nearby as Lane talks to the two other people in the vehicle, getting their names and other information, according to CBS Minnesota. Kueng and Lane are then seen walking Floyd across the street and back to their squad vehicle. Floyd grows more anxious, telling the officers that he's claustrophobic and pleading with them not to put him in the back of a squad car.

"I can't breathe. I don't want to go in there," Floyd is heard saying, the station reports. 

Floyd becomes louder and more adamant and a struggle ensues to get Floyd into the vehicle, reports CBS Minnesota. Floyd braces himself, turns around and puts his back against the squad, the station reports, and eventually he goes through the back seat and out the other side. 

Chauvin is then seen on video for the first time, trying to get Floyd to the ground along with Lane on the other side of the vehicle, reports CBS Minnesota. Floyd eventually winds up on the pavement with the officers holding him down. What appears to be Chauvin's chest-mounted body camera winds up underneath the squad car.

Chauvin and Kueng each grip one of Floyd's handcuffed hands to hold them in position behind his back, with Kueng's knee appearing to press on Floyd's bottom or just below. Lane is at Floyd's feet.

The officers sound clinical as the minutes tick by. "I think he's passing out," one officer says. "You guys all right, though?" someone asks. "Yeah — good so far," says one. Another — apparently Lane — says: "My knee might be a little scratched, but I'll survive." Kueng reaches out with a free hand to pull a pebble from the police SUV's tire tread and toss it to the street.

Lane did not sound particularly worried the first time he asked Chauvin whether they should roll Floyd on his side and suggested that Floyd might be in delirium. People in the crowd can be heard expressing fear for Floyd's condition, asking whether he had a pulse and was breathing.

A couple of minutes later, Lane sounds a bit more concerned when he asks again about rolling Floyd onto his side. The officers go quiet but show no apparent urgency as Kueng checks for a pulse and says he cannot find one.

Lane's camera shows him following an unresponsive, shirtless Floyd on a stretcher into an ambulance, where EMTs instructed him to perform CPR. The video shows Lane performing constant chest compressions by hand with no visible results.

America Protests Washington
Demonstrators protest Saturday, June 6, 2020, near the White House in Washington, over the death of George Floyd. Jacquelyn Martin / AP

The ambulance parks a few blocks away from the store for several minutes while Lane and the EMTs work on Floyd, rather than heading straight to the hospital, even though they all know that Floyd is in full cardiac arrest, as indicated by dispatcher audio.

A coalition of news organizations and attorneys for Lane and Kueng have said that making the videos public would provide a more complete picture of what happened when Floyd was taken into custody.

The viewing of the video took place on the same day Floyd family attorney Ben Crump was announcing a lawsuit against the city and the police officers involved in his death.

The body camera videos and transcripts were filed in court last week by Lane's attorney, Earl Gray, as part of a request to have Lane's case dismissed. Gray said at the time that he wanted the videos to be made public, telling the Star Tribune that they would show the "whole picture." Gray said the bystander video shows just the last piece of what happened and "is not fair."

Gray's request highlighted portions of the body camera video that show Floyd "actively resisting and acting erratic" with officers. It also noted Floyd's "request" to be put on the ground. Gray also argued that Lane did not have a clear view of what Chauvin was doing.

Kueng's attorney, Tom Plunkett, has also asked that the video be made public.

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