WASHINGTON: Anti-racism protests, often turning into violent riots, have been non-stop in the United States since Floyd’s death in late May, after an officer pinned him to the ground for several minutes as the man repeatedly told him he could not breathe.
Two new videos showing new details in George Floyd’s fatal arrest have been leaked and published by the Daily Mail, despite it being barred from public distribution.
The footage was shot on former police officers Thomas Lane and Alexander Kueng’s body-cameras, as they were first to arrive at the Cup Foods convenience store after a complaint that Floyd allegedly tried to pay with a counterfeit bill on 25 May in Minneapolis.
In the first video, supposedly taken on Lane’s body camera, the two officers are trying to push Floyd into a police car as the man resists. Floyd is heard asking if the officers are going to shoot him, claiming that he has claustrophobia and therefore cannot sit in the car, while the policemen are trying to calm him down and ask if he has taken any drugs.
The second video, allegedly from Kueng’s body camera, lasts much longer, starting in the store where Floyd reportedly tried to pass a fake bill and ending outside as the officers were waiting for the ambulance to come. The footage captures Floyd being forced into the squad car, as he asks to lie on the ground instead.
The newly leaked footage confirms that the officers suspected Floyd was intoxicated, as one of them is heard saying that they “found a weed pipe” and “there might be something else…PCP or something”.
As the officers were trying to pull him out of his car, Floyd sobbed, “Okay. Mr Officer, please don’t shoot me. Please man”, to which Lane replies, “I’m not going to shoot you. Step out and face away”.
After the police got Floyd out of the vehicle, they asked the two passengers, Hill and Hall, if the man was drunk. “No, he’s got a thing going on”, Hill answered, “about the police”, apparently implying possible mental issues.
Later on the footage, Derek Chauvin, who pinned Floyd to the ground in the end, says that the ambulance is coming and that Floyd is “staying where we’ve got him”.
Following Floyd’s death, Lane was charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. His former colleagues Kueng and Thao are now facing two charges each of aiding and abetting. Finally, Chauvin has been charged with the most serious crimes – second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
According to an independent autopsy, Floyd died due to “asphyxiation from sustained pressure”. It also revealed fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use, and that Floyd also suffered from heart disease, but they were not listed as the cause of his death on 25 May.