On Wednesday, a Minnesota court was shown footage from several police officers’ body cameras which filmed George Floyd’s deadly arrest.
According to KARE, Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao’s body camera recorded him telling a group of bystanders, “This is why you don’t do drugs, kids,” as Floyd lost consciousness feet away. Meanwhile, Donald Williams II, the MMA-trained fighter who testified on Monday, is overheard telling police to check Floyd’s pulse.
Footage from Derek Chauvin’s camera was also shown to the public for the first time on Wednesday. The video showed Chauvin arriving at the scene, but his body cam apparently fell under a squad car as he scuffled with Floyd. It is not immediately clear what caused the device to fall off.
MN V. CHAUVIN: Prosecutors introduced the never-before-seen bodycam footage of #DerekChauvin into evidence.
The video stops abruptly after Chauvin’s camera falls to the ground.
— Court TV (@CourtTV) March 31, 2021
A body cam on Thomas Lane, 37, appears to show him kneeling near Floyd’s legs as he loses consciousness. As Chauvin is seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck, Lane is overheard commenting that Floyd is “passing out.”
The fourth officer on the scene, J. Alexander Kueng, 26, is heard off-camera asking Lane if he is okay. Lane responds, “My knee is a little scratched, but I’ll survive.”
On May 25, Minneapolis police officers were filmed arresting Floyd, 44, on suspicion that he used a counterfeit bill at the Cup Foods supermarket. After police pulled Floyd out of his car and handcuffed him, Chauvin was filmed forcing his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.
Floyd was heard gasping for air and saying he could not breathe before he lost consciousness and died.
Jurors essentially will decide whether Chauvin is culpable for Floyd’s death. The defense has argued that a “speedball” — an opioid and a stimulant combination — which, along with hypertension, led to Floyd dying from cardiac arrhythmia. However, the prosecution said video evidence disproves Floyd was dying from a drug overdose, and that Chauvin’s knee on his neck for several minutes killed him.
The Hennepin County’s autopsy report stated that there was no evidence “to support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation” in Floyd’s death. However, an independent autopsy asserted that sustained forceful pressure on Floyd’s neck and back led to his death. Both reports mentioned drugs in Floyd’s system but concluded his death was a homicide.
Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder, second-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s death. In addition to Chauvin, Lane, Kueng, and Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s death.
Chauvin is being tried separately from the other three former officers, who will stand trial together. Their trial is scheduled to begin this summer.
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[Featured image: Court TV via AP, Pool]