New York Is Committed to Covering This Essential Moment
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On Monday night, the Daily Mail published an eight-minute video of the arrest of George Floyd, obtained from the body cameras of officers Thomas Lane and Alex Kueng, who stood by as officer Derek Chauvin killed Floyd.
The video shows Floyd opening his car door and immediately apologizing to officer Lane, who pulls his gun on him within seconds of the beginning of their exchange. “Please don’t shoot me,” Floyd pleads, shortly before he is aggressively handcuffed. In the video, Floyd, who was accused of using a false $20 bill, was not given an explanation for why he was being questioned before he was placed into handcuffs.
Later, as the officers attempt to get Floyd into their squad car, he pleads with them not to, saying he is claustrophobic. Floyd is put in the car, but then pulled from the back seat and pressed against the ground. Immediately, he tells the officers he cannot breathe, which is when the video ends — just before the nearly ten-minute period that Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s back, killing him via asphyxiation.
While the initial video, published by a 17-year-old, of the arrest and police killing of Floyd caused months of nationwide protest, it’s unclear how the footage from the officer’s body cams will affect the ongoing demonstrations in major U.S. cities.
It’s also unclear how the Daily Mail obtained the video, which was made available for public viewing in the Hennepin County courthouse in Minneapolis earlier this month. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the videos “appeared to have been recorded on a device while they were played on a laptop in a courthouse conference room.” The footage was presented to the court in early July by Lane’s attorney as evidence in a motion to dismiss charges against the former officer. Lane, Kueng, and, Tou Thao — the fourth officer on the scene — have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. The tentative trial date for the former officers, who have all been fired, is March 8.