FLOYD TOLD OF­FI­CERS HE COULDN’T BREATHE MORE THAN 20 TIMES, TRAN­SCRIPTS SHOW

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION/WORLD - BY AMY FORLITI

MIN­NEAPO­LIS — As Ge­orge Floyd told Min­neapo­lis po­lice of­fi­cers that he couldn’t breathe more than 20 times in the mo­ments be­fore he died, the of­fi­cer who pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck dis­missed his pleas, say­ing “it takes a heck of a lot of oxy­gen to talk,” ac­cord­ing to tran­scripts of body cam­era video record­ings made pub­lic Wed­nes­day.

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 Floyd into cus­tody on May 25, and re­veal more of what was said af­ter Floyd, a Black man who was hand­cuffed, was put on the ground.

“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 Derek Chau­vin, the white of­fi­cer who held his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly 8 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.

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.

Gray painted an im­age of a rookie of­fi­cer who trusted 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.

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,” Gray wrote.

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.

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