'You can't win': Cop's haunting George Floyd footage emerges

Associated Press
·5-min read

Distressing body-camera footage from two Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd's arrest captured a panicked and fearful Floyd pleading with the officers, saying "I'm not a bad guy!".

"I'm not that kind of guy," Mr Floyd says as he struggles against the officers.

"I just had COVID, man, I don't want to go back to that."

An onlooker pleads with Mr Floyd to stop struggling, saying, "You can't win!"

Mr Floyd replies, "I don't want to win!"

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

Derek Chauvin was fired after the incident and charged with second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter. Source: AP
Derek Chauvin was fired after the incident and charged with second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter. Source: AP

The recordings from officers Thomas Lane and J Kueng are part of the criminal case against them and two other officers in Mr Floyd's May 25 death.

Derek Chauvin, who held his knee against Mr 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.

Journalists in the US and members of the public were allowed to view the footage on Wednesday, local time, by appointment.

Judge Peter Cahill, without explanation, has declined to allow publication of the video.

Picture shows Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder of George Floyd, a Black man who died after being restrained by him and the other Minneapolis police officers on May 25. Kueng, Lane and Thao have been charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin. Video from the body cameras of two officers charged in the death of Floyd is being made available for public viewing by appointment on Wednesday, July 15 but a judge has so far declined to allow news media organizations to publish the footage for wider distribution.  (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
Derek Chauvin, (from left), J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, the four officers charged over George Floyd's death. Source: AP

‘I think he’s passing out’: George Floyd’s final moments

Mr Floyd appears distraught from the moment officers ask him to step out of his vehicle near a south Minneapolis corner grocery, where he was suspected of passing a counterfeit $US20 ($AU28) bill.

When he did not immediately display his hands, Lane pulled his gun, leading Mr Floyd to say he had been shot before.

The victim’s hands are soon handcuffed behind his back, and he 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.

In the struggle, Mr Floyd loses a shoe and eventually winds up on the pavement with the officers holding him down.

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

"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".

George Floyd protests
George Floyd (Left) and a scene from the mass protests being held around the world (Right) after his death. Source: AAP

Lane did not sound particularly worried the first time he asked Chauvin whether they should roll Mr Floyd on his side and suggested that he might be in delirium.

People in the crowd can be heard expressing fear for Mr 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 Mr 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.

George Floyd’s family sues the city of Minneapolis

George Floyd's family has filed a lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and the four police officers charged in his death.

The lawsuit alleges the officers violated Mr Floyd's rights when they restrained him, and that the city allowed a culture of excessive force, racism and impunity to flourish in its police force.

George Floyd's son, Quincy Mason Floyd (Left) and lawyer Benjamin Crump (Right)
George Floyd's son, Quincy Mason Floyd (Left) and lawyer Benjamin Crump (Right) has filed a lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and the four police officers charged in his death. Source: AAP

It was filed in the US District Court in Minnesota and announced overnight by lawyer Ben Crump and other lawyers representing Mr Floyd's family members.

"This complaint shows what we have said all along, that Mr Floyd died because the weight of the entire Minneapolis Police Department was on his neck," Mr Crump said in a statement.

"The City of Minneapolis has a history of policies, procedures and deliberate indifference that violates the rights of arrestees, particularly Black men, and highlights the need for officer training and discipline."

Mr Crump said the lawsuit seeks to set a precedent "that makes it financially prohibitive for police to wrongfully kill marginalised people - especially black people - in the future".

Mr Floyd's death also sparked calls to abolish the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a new public safety department.

Quincy Mason Floyd (Right), son of George Floyd, is joined by lawyer Benjamin Crump, (Centre) for a press conference at the spot where his father died. Source: AAP
Quincy Mason Floyd (Right), son of George Floyd, is joined by lawyer Benjamin Crump, (Centre) for a press conference at the spot where his father died. Source: AAP

A majority of City Council members support the move, saying the department has a long history and culture of brutality that has resisted change.

The families of victims of other high-profile police shootings have received high payouts in Minnesota.

Last year, Minneapolis agreed to pay $AU29 million to the family of Australian Justine Ruszczyk, who was shot by an officer after she called 911 to report hearing a possible crime happening behind her home.

The settlement came three days after the officer, Mohamed Noor, was convicted of murdering her and is believed to be the largest payout ever stemming from police violence in Minnesota.

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