‘I’m not a bad guy’: New bodycam video of George Floyd’s death emerges

Footage from body cameras worn by two police officers showing a panicked and scared George Floyd pleading with officers minutes before his death has emerged.

In the recordings from Minneapolis officers Thomas Lane and J Kueng, Mr Floyd can be heard telling them “I’m not a bad guy” as they try to wrestle him into a squad car.

“I’m not that kind of guy,” Mr Floyd says as he struggles against the officers. “I just had COVID, man, I don’t want to go back to that.”

(Clockwise from top left) J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, Derek Chauvin
Image:(Clockwise from top left) J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, Derek Chauvin

An onlooker can be heard pleading with Mr Floyd to stop struggling, saying: “You can’t win.” Mr Floyd replies, “I don’t want to win.”

A few minutes later, with Mr Floyd now face-down on the street, the cameras record his fading voice, still occasionally saying, “I can’t breathe” before he goes still.

The recordings are part of the criminal case against them and two other officers over Mr Floyd’s death on 25 May.

Derek Chauvin, who held his knee against Mr Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes, is charged with second-degree murder.

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Lane, Kueng and another officer, Tou Thao, are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.

All four officers were fired the day after Mr Floyd died.

A memorial honouring George Floyd in Houston's Third Ward where he grew up
Image:A memorial honouring George Floyd in Houston’s Third Ward where he grew up

Journalists and members of the public were allowed to view the footage on Wednesday by appointment. Judge Peter Cahill has declined to allow publication of the video.

The video is the fullest public view yet of Mr Floyd’s interaction with the officers.

It shows the officers’ view of a death already widely seen on a bystander’s phone video, which set off tumultuous protests in Minneapolis that quickly spread around the world.

Mr Floyd appears distraught from the moment officers ask him to step out of his vehicle near a south Minneapolis corner grocery, where he was suspected of using a counterfeit $20 note.

George Floyd

Police dispatcher call on George Floyd’s arrest

When Mr Floyd did not immediately display his hands, Lane pulled his gun, leading Mr Floyd to say he had been shot before.

Mr Floyd’s hands are soon handcuffed behind his back, and he grows more anxious, telling the officers that he is claustrophobic and pleading with them not to put him in the back of a squad car.

In the struggle, he loses a shoe. What appears to be Chauvin’s chest-mounted body camera falls underneath the squad car, and Mr Floyd eventually ends up on the pavement with the officers holding him down.

Chauvin and Kueng each grip one of Mr Floyd’s handcuffed hands to hold them in position behind his back, with Kueng’s knee appearing to press on Mr Floyd’s bottom or just below. Lane is at Floyd’s feet.

Pallbearers bring the coffin into the church for the funeral for George Floyd, outside The Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Texas, U.S., June 9, 2020. Godofredo A. Vasquez/Pool via REUTERS
Image:Pallbearers bring the coffin into the church for the funeral for Mr Floyd on 9 June

“I think he’s passing out,” one officer can be heard. “You guys all right, though?” someone asks. “Yeah – good so far,” says one.

Another – apparently Lane – says: “My knee might be a little scratched, but I’ll survive.” Kueng reaches out with a free hand to pull a pebble from the police SUV’s tire tread and toss it to the street.

Lee asks Chauvin whether they should roll Mr Floyd on his side and suggests that he might be in delirium.

People in the crowd can be heard expressing fear for Mr Floyd’s condition, asking whether he had a pulse and was breathing.

George Floyd. Pic: Shutterstock
Image:George Floyd. Pic: Shutterstock

A couple of minutes later, Lane asks again about rolling Mr Floyd onto his side.

The officers go quiet as Kueng checks for a pulse and says he cannot find one.

Lane’s camera shows him following an unresponsive Mr Floyd on a stretcher into an ambulance, where paramedics instructed him to perform CPR.

8 minutes and 46 seconds: The Killing of George Floyd looks at how a black man died during his arrest by a white police officer in Minneapolis and the impact on global race relations.

Documentary: 8 Minutes and 46 Seconds

The video shows Lane performing constant chest compressions by hand with no visible results.

The ambulance parks a few streets away from the store for several minutes while Lane and the paramedics work on Mr Floyd.

The viewing of the video took place on the same day the Floyd family’s lawyer Ben Crump announced a lawsuit against the city and the police officers involved in his death.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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