African-American George Floyd, whose murder by police led to massive racial protests in the United States, alerted the agents who killed him about 20 times that he couldn’t breathe, according to a police transcript released Wednesday.
The transcript comes out of the body camera of Thomas Lane, one of four police officers indicted in the case and whose defence is seeking to have the charges filed against him by pointing out the main defendant, Derek Chauvin, of Floyd’s death.
Until now, the last minutes of Floyd’s life was known thanks to the videos recorded by passers-by, but the document provided by Lane shows the scene, which occurred on May 25 in Minneapolis, in an even more dramatic way.
“They are going to kill me, they are going to kill me,” said Floyd, 46, when the police officers had him immobilized and face down on the ground, to which Chauvin replied: “Stop talking, stop screaming, it takes a lot. oxygen to speak. “
Chauvin was, in fact, the one who suffocated Floyd by pressing his knee against his neck for more than eight minutes, during which the African American repeated more than 20 times that he could not breathe.
Those desperate calls from Floyd were answered by the agents involved with phrases like “relax” ( Tou Thao ), “take a deep breath” (Lane) or “you are fine, you are speaking well” ( Alexander Kueng ), all of them fired from the body and later accused.
“I can’t breath.”
That Floyd “I can’t breathe” later became one of the slogans of the protests.
Floyd also informed police that he had been sick with coronavirus and was having trouble breathing.
At one point, Lane questioned Chauvin – the most experienced agent of the four – if they should turn Floyd sideways, but Floyd replied “no.”
Lane insisted that he was concerned about Floyd’s health as he appeared to be under the influence of some substance.
“Well, that’s why an ambulance is coming,” said Chauvin, who didn’t lift his knee from Floyd’s neck until a paramedic told him to.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and third-degree murder for killing Floyd, while Lane, Thao and Kueng are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Lane, who is out on $ 750,000 bail, has argued that it was his first week on the job and that it was Chauvin who made the decisions that led to Floyd’s death.
Floyd’s murder sparked a huge outbreak of protests and racial unrest across the country over the recurring deaths of African American citizens at the hands of police in the United States.