MINNEAPOLIS — The transcripts for the body camera videos of officers Thomas Lane and J. Kueng provide the most detailed account yet of what happened as police were taking George Floyd into custody on May 25, and reveal more of what was said after he was placed on the ground.
The transcripts were made public Wednesday as part of Lane’s request to have the case against him dismissed. Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, said in a memorandum that there isn’t probable cause to charge his client, based on all of the evidence and the law, FOX News reported.
Gray painted an image of a rookie officer who trusted Derek Chauvin, a senior officer, after Floyd had been acting erratically, struggling and hurting himself during an arrest. Gray said that once Floyd was on the ground, Lane had asked twice if officers should roll Floyd on his side, and Chauvin said no.
Gray also submitted the body camera footage itself, but that was not immediately made public. The transcripts show Floyd appearing cooperative at times but becoming agitated as he begged not to be put in a squad car, saying repeatedly he was claustrophobic.
“Oh man, God don’t leave me man, please man, please man,” he begged, later adding: “I’ll do anything y’ll tell me to, man. … I’m just claustrophobic, that’s it.”
Gray wrote that Floyd started to thrash back and forth and was “hitting his face on the glass in the squad and began to bleed from his mouth.” Officers brought Floyd to the ground and, “the plan was to restrain him so he couldn’t move and hurt himself anymore,” the attorney wrote.
As part of his court filing, Gray also submitted a transcript of Lane’s interview with state investigators and police department training materials on restraint holds. Gray wrote that all of the evidence exonerates his client and that it is not “fair or reasonable” for Lane to stand trial.
According to KARE11, part of Lane’s motion to dismiss charges include 30 pages of MPD training materials with information on a restraint called the “maximal restraint technique,” and a photo of an officer with his knee to a suspect’s neck similar to the hold used by Chauvin on Floyd, Law Officer reported.
Gray said in a memorandum that his client’s body camera video shows the encounter with Floyd from the time Lane got on the scene to the point where Floyd was put into an ambulance; Lane went in the ambulance and helped with CPR, according to the transcript.
Lane repeatedly told Floyd to show his hands, and he told investigators he drew his gun at first because Floyd was reaching for something, but holstered it once Floyd showed his hands. Body camera video transcripts show Floyd initially said he had been shot before, and begged police not to shoot him.
Gray said Floyd was acting erratically and had foam at his mouth. According to the body camera video transcripts, when asked about the foam and whether he was on something, Floyd said he was scared and had been playing basketball, FOX reported.
As officers struggled to get Floyd into the squad car, Floyd said: “I can’t breathe” and “I want to lay on the ground,” the transcripts say.
Once Floyd was on the ground, Lane told the other officers “he’s got to be on something.” and he asked twice whether officers should roll Floyd onto his side — Chauvin said no.
“Lane had no basis to believe Chauvin was wrong in making that decision,” Gray wrote.
Bystanders told officers repeatedly to check Floyd’s pulse, and after Kueng did he said, “I can’t find one.”
“Huh?” Chauvin said, according to the transcript of Keung’s body camera video.
“You’re going to kill me, man,” Floyd said, according to a transcript of Lane’s body camera video.
“Then stop talking, stop yelling. It takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk,” said Chauvin, the officer who held his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes, even after Floyd stopped moving.
“They’ll kill me. They’ll kill me. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe,” Floyd said.
Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, had no immediate comment Wednesday.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Lane, Kueng and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. Lane was holding Floyd’s legs at the time, Kueng was at Floyd’s midsection and Thao was watching nearby bystanders. All four officers were fired.