Officer at Floyd: “It takes … a lot of oxygen to speak”

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MINNEAPOLIS – As George Floyd told Minneapolis police officers that he could not breathe more than 20 times in the moments before his death, the officer who pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck rejected his pleas , declaring: “It takes a lot of oxygen to speak,” according to transcripts of video recordings of body cameras made public on Wednesday.

Constable Thomas Lane and J. Kueng’s body camera video transcripts provide the most detailed account to date of what happened when police arrested Floyd on May 25, and reveal more of what happened. was said after Floyd, a black man who was handcuffed, was put on the ground.

“You’re going to kill me, man,” said Floyd, according to a transcript of Lane’s body camera video.

“So stop talking, stop screaming. It takes a lot of oxygen to speak, “said Derek Chauvin, the white officer who held his knee to Floyd’s neck for almost eight minutes, even after Floyd stopped moving.

“They will kill me. They will kill me. I can not breath anymore. I can’t breathe, ”said Floyd.

Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson had no immediate comments on Wednesday.

The transcripts were made public Wednesday as part of Lane’s request to have his file rejected. Lane’s attorney Earl Gray said in a memorandum that there was no likely reason to charge his client, based on all of the evidence and the law.

Gray painted the image of a rookie officer who trusted Chauvin, a senior officer, after Floyd acted erratically, wrestling and injuring himself during an arrest. Gray said that once Floyd was on the ground, Lane had asked twice if the officers should roll Floyd on his side, and Chauvin said no.

Gray also submitted the camera images of the body itself, but it was not released to the public immediately. The transcripts show Floyd appearing at times cooperative but becoming agitated when he begged not to be placed in a police car, repeatedly claiming that he was claustrophobic.

“Oh man, God don’t leave me man, please man, please man,” he begged, adding later, “I’ll do whatever you tell me, man.” … I’m just claustrophobic, that’s all. ”

Gray wrote that Floyd started struggling back and forth and “punched his face on the team glass and started bleeding from his mouth”. The police brought Floyd to the ground and, “The plan was to restrain him so that he could not move and injure himself,” Gray wrote.

Chauvin is charged with second degree murder, third degree murder and manslaughter. Lane, Kueng and Tou Thao are charged with complicity in second degree murder and manslaughter. Lane was holding Floyd’s legs at the time, Kueng was in the middle of Floyd and Thao was watching passersby nearby. The four officers were dismissed.

A message left to a lawyer for Floyd’s family was not immediately returned. A spokesman for the attorney general’s office said prosecutors intended to oppose the motion to dismiss.

As part of his criminal record, Gray also submitted a transcript of Lane’s interview with state investigators and police training materials on the holds. Gray wrote that all of the evidence exonerates his client and that it is not “fair or reasonable” for Lane to stand trial.

Gray said in a memorandum that the video from his client’s body camera shows the meeting with Floyd from the time Lane arrived at the scene to the point where Floyd was placed in an ambulance; Lane went into the ambulance and helped with CPR, according to the transcript.

Lane repeatedly told Floyd to show his hands, and he told investigators that he had drawn his weapon at first because Floyd was looking for something, but put it in his holster once Floyd showed his hands. The body camera video transcripts show that Floyd first said he had been shot before and begged the police not to shoot him.

Gray said that Floyd was acting irregularly and had foam in his mouth. According to the body camera video transcripts, when asked about the foam and if he was on something, Floyd said he was scared and he was playing basketball.

As officers struggled to get Floyd into the squad car, Floyd said, “I can’t breathe” and “I want to lie on the ground,” say the transcripts.

Once Floyd was on the ground, Lane told the other officers “he had to be on something.” And asked twice if the officers should roll Floyd on his side – Chauvin said no.

“Lane had no reason to believe that Chauvin was wrong to make this decision,” wrote Gray.

Witnesses repeatedly asked the police to check Floyd’s pulse, and after Kueng, he said, “I can’t find one.”

“Huh? Chauvin said, according to the transcript of Keung’s body camera video.

Lane told state investigators that Chauvin was not Lane’s field training officer, but that he had trained Kueng and that someone had already approached him for advice. According to a transcript of this interview, an investigator said it looked like Lane’s gut was telling him that something was wrong with the way Floyd was being held.

“Yeah. I would say that I think it might have been handled differently or that we should reassess what we are doing, I think that’s what I came from, “said Lane.

Gray argued in his memorandum that to accuse Lane of complicity, prosecutors must show that Lane played a conscious role in the commission of a crime. He said there was no evidence that Lane played an intentional role or knew that Chauvin was committing a crime, namely assault.

“The decision to detain Floyd was reasonably justified,” wrote Gray, adding: “Based on Floyd’s actions so far, the officers had no idea what he was going to do next – get injured, hurt officers, run away, or anything else, but he didn’t cooperate. ”

Gray wrote that Lane’s confidence in Chauvin was “reasonable and not criminal”.

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