Transcripts of police bodycam videos in the minutes leading up to George Floyd’s death have revealed that he pleaded 20 times that he couldn’t breathe and was told by killer-cop Derek Chauvin that “it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen” to talk.
The transcripts for the body camera videos were filed in Minnesota state court on Wednesday, July 8, as part of a motion to dismiss charges against one of the officers involved, Thomas Lane, who expressed concern about Floyd’s well-being.
The police bodycam worn by former officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng revealed more details of what was said after Floyd, a black man who was handcuffed and pinned to the ground for nearly 8 minutes as police were taking him into custody on May 25.
In the transcript of Lane’s bodycam footage, Floyd pleaded for his life, saying: ‘You’re going to kill me, man.’
‘Then stop talking, stop yelling. It takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk,’ said Derek Chauvin, the white officer who held his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly 8 minutes, even after Floyd stopped moving.
‘They’ll kill me. They’ll kill me. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe,’ Floyd said.
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: 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.
After that exchange, someone in the crowd at the scene noticed that Floyd was no longer breathing. The officers then confirmed that he’s non-responsive.
In their motion to dismiss the charges against Lane, attorneys argued their client did not intend to further a crime when he held down Floyd’s legs and feet.
Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, said in an interview on 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.”
Lane, Kueng, and Tou Thao have all been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter. All three of the officers have been released on bond.
Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and third-degree manslaughter. He is being held on $1 million bond.