Minneapolis Police Union Officials Say They’re Blocked From Floyd Arrest Footage

June 23, 2020 Updated: June 23, 2020

Police union officials in Minneapolis say they haven’t been able to see body camera footage of the arrest of George Floyd.

Floyd, a black man, died in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day after being arrested on suspicion of forgery. One police officer, Derek Chauvin, who has since been fired, knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes.

Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, while three other officers involved, who also were fired in the wake of the incident, were charged with aiding and abetting the killing.

Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, said what happened to Floyd appears “horrific,” but that union officials have been blocked from seeing body camera footage from the arrest.

“The administration broke our policy, which gives us the ability to review the video, so we were blindsided. We only saw the social media video. In all other officer-involved critical incidents, we’re entitled to review. What I’ve seen of it is only what the public has seen on the cellphone, and it is horrific,” Kroll said.

“Any human being that watched that, knows that that shouldn’t have ended the way that it did,” Rich Walker Sr., director of the union, added. “But we also know that there is more to the story. They say he never resisted in the statements released. We don’t know if he never resisted because we haven’t seen from the time the officer stopped him until the point he was on the ground.”

Epoch Times Photo
In this June 4, 2020, file photo, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey kneels and weeps by the casket of George Floyd before a memorial service in Minneapolis, Minn. (Bebeto Matthews/AP Photo)

Kroll said body camera footage “may shed some light” on what happened. Because officials have been blocked from viewing the footage, “we cannot make an informed decision about our other officers that don’t appear on camera,” he said.

“We wish we could have an early opinion in this, but it’s up the administration to stick with policy and give us what we’re entitled to under policy. It does look and sound horrible,” he said.

Sherral Schmidt, the union’s vice president, said she would have put Floyd on his side in a recovery position once he went unconscious.

The officials spoke during a joint interview with “CBS This Morning.”

The Minneapolis Police Department didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for information, including when the body camera footage might be released.

Union officials have remained silent since Floyd’s death, except for a short statement urging people not to “rush to judgment and immediately condemn our officers.”

Minneapolis Police charged
This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota on June 3, 2020, shows from left J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao. They have been charged with aiding and abetting Derek Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree murder of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by the Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office/AP)
Derek Chauvin county jail
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin poses for an undated booking photograph. (Minnesota Department of Corrections/Reuters)

“An in-depth investigation is underway. Our officers are fully cooperating. We must review all video. We must wait for the medical examiner’s report,” Kroll said in a statement in late May.

“Officers’ actions and training protocol will be carefully examined after the officers have provided their statements. The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis will provide full support to the involved officers. We ask that the community remain calm and let the investigation be completed in full.”

County and independent autopsies have ruled that Floyd’s death was a homicide.

The primary video showing the arrest was filmed by a bystander; no body camera footage from the four officers involved has been released.

Police spokesman John Elder previously told The Associated Press that all the officers had their body cameras on. Bruce Gordon, a spokesman for the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, said footage from the body cameras captured portions of the incident.

A spokesman for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a Democrat leading the prosecution, told AP that prosecutors are reviewing all evidence but declined to comment specifically on the body camera situation.

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