Transcripts: George Floyd Said He Couldn’t Breathe, Officer Told Him to Stop Talking

July 9, 2020 Updated: July 9, 2020

Transcripts from police body camera footage show George Floyd told the officers arresting him that he couldn’t breathe while one officer tells him to stop talking to save oxygen.

Floyd, a black man, was taken into custody on suspicion of forgery on Memorial Day in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Transcripts from two of the officers’ body cameras show Floyd initially refused to show officers his hands when they approached his vehicle.

Floyd said he was nervous because he had been shot in a similar situation. A woman in Floyd’s vehicle, Shawanda Renee Hill, told Thomas Lane, one of the officers, that Floyd “got a thing going on, I’m telling you, about the police.”

As Lane and J. Alexander Keung, another officer, tried putting Floyd in a police car, Floyd resisted arrest, according to the transcripts. He repeatedly said he was claustrophobic and asked the police to roll down the windows if he was placed inside the car, which they said they would do.

Epoch Times Photo
Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane, right, walks out of the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility with his attorney, Earl Gray, after a hearing in Minneapolis on June 20, 2020. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)

Floyd ultimately asked to lay on the ground before beginning to say he couldn’t breathe.

After he was placed on the ground, a third officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck as Lane and Keung held lower portions of his body.

Floyd told the officers that he couldn’t breathe 22 times as they held him on the ground.

“Mom, I love you,” he said at one point. He also said: “You’re going to kill me.”

Lane asked Chauvin whether the officers should shift Floyd’s position but Chauvin said that he should be left where he was.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is seen in an artist's sketch attends a court hearing via video link
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter of George Floyd, is seen in an artist’s sketch as he attends a court hearing via video link in Minneapolis, Minn., on June 8, 2020. (Cedric Hohnstadt/Illustration via Reuters)

Chauvin told Floyd when the man kept repeating that he couldn’t breathe, “Then stop talking, stop yelling.”

“Then stop talking, stop yelling,” he repeated. “It takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.”

Even as onlookers urged the officers to get Floyd off of the ground, and Floyd stopped talking, the officers kept the pressure on. Lane again wondered whether the position should be changed.

Emergency workers arrived and placed Floyd in an ambulance. He had been on the ground for seven minutes and 46 seconds.

Floyd was declared dead within several hours.

George Floyd
George Floyd in a file photograph. (Christopher Harris via AP)

The local medical examiner said Floyd’s manner of death was homicide. It said he had fentanyl, a potent opioid, in his system, and had recently used methamphetamines. An independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family concluded he died from being deprived of oxygen.

Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder. The other three officers involved in the arrest were charged with aiding and abetting murder.

The start of the trials is tentatively set for March 8, 2021.

The transcripts, along with the footage itself, were submitted to the court by Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, who is seeking the dismissal of the case against his client, according to the Associated Press.

Minnesota authorities have so far declined to release the actual body camera footage to the public. State Attorney General Keith Ellison, who is leading the case, hasn’t responded to a request for comment.

Police union officials said last month they’re also being blocked from seeing the footage.

“Any human being that watched that knows that that shouldn’t have ended the way that it did,” said Rich Walker Sr., director of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis. “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.”

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