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Image / Editorial

‘Tell my kids I love them’: New transcripts detail George Floyd’s final moments


by Shayna Sappington
09th Jul 2020
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Transcripts of body cam footage from the officers involved in George Floyd’s death has revealed new details about what happened on May 25


Four police officers were fired and arrested in connection with the murder of unarmed black man George Floyd on May 25.

Floyd was arrested in Minneapolis, Minnesota, due to allegations of using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes.

Video footage later emerged showing one of the officers, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck after forcing him to the ground while three other officers stood by and kept a gathering crowd at bay.

In the video, Chauvin, who is now facing second degree murder and manslaughter charges, kneels on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes, until he passes out and eventually dies.

Transcript details

The other three officers involved, Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, have been charged with aiding and abetting murder. 

Lane’s lawyer presented transcripts of Lane’s and Kueng’s body cam footage in court, arguing that Lane was not as culpable as he appears to be. 

Lane was a rookie on the force, starting just days before the tragic incident. After receiving the call about Floyd’s alleged use of counterfeit money, Lane approached Floyd in his car. 

According to the transcript, he asked Floyd to present his hands at least ten times to which Floyd replied, “Man, I got, I got shot the same way, Mr Officer, before.” It is unclear what he is referring to.

“Why’s he getting all squirrelly and not showing us his hands and just being all weird like that?” Lane asked the other officers. 

A medical emergency

The officers then asked Floyd to step out of the vehicle, handcuffed him and put him in the back of the police car where he became agitated. Lane asked if him if he was “on something” to which Floyd replied that he was “claustrophobic” and “scared”.

In an interview with investigators from Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Lane was asked if he thought Floyd was having a medical emergency at the time. Lane replied, “Yeah, I felt maybe that something was going on.”

Lane then claims that Floyd pushed himself out of the vehicle before officers pinned him to the ground. Floyd showed immediate signs of distress while being held down.

According to the transcript, he called out a dozen times for his late mother, saying: “[I] can’t believe this, man. Mom, love you. Love you. Tell my kids I love them. I’m dead.”

‘I can’t breathe’

When Floyd continually says that he can’t breathe, Lane asked Chauvin: “Should we roll him on his side?”

Chauvin, who was kneeling on Floyd’s neck at this point, replied: “No, he’s staying put where we got him.”

Lane then voiced his concern about Floyd having a medical emergency, to which Chauvin replied: “Well, that’s why we got the ambulance coming”. 

“Okay, I suppose,” Lane responded, then added, “I think he’s passing out.”

Lane’s lawyer presented the transcripts of the body cam footage and Lane’s interview in court, arguing that it was “unfair” for his client to stand trial for his charges.

Soon after his death, bystander footage of Floyd’s murder emerged, showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck until he died, despite over 20 shouts from Floyd saying he could not breathe. 

These transcripts have revealed new details about Floyd’s death, but it is not yet clear how they will influence the cases of Lane and the other officers involved.

 

Read more: ‘I am privileged to walk freely in white skin but my children are not’: raising children of colour in Ireland

Read more: I am heartbroken over the brutal murder of George Floyd in my former home of Minneapolis

Read more: Mental health resources for minorities trying to cope right now

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