Body camera footage shows struggle leading to George Floyd’s fatal police encounter

Thomas K. Lane body camera video.
J. Alexander Kueng body camera video.
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Editor’s note: The videos in this story contain graphic content.

Newly released video of George Floyd’s fatal interaction with Minneapolis police shows that medical personnel waited nearly three minutes to perform chest compressions in an attempt to revive the handcuffed man who had been pinned down on a Minneapolis street until he lost consciousness in May.

The body camera footage captured by two of the four officers charged in Floyd’s May 25 death was released Monday by order of Hennepin County Judge Peter A. Cahill, who is overseeing the criminal case over Floyd’s death. The Minneapolis Police Department had previously declined to release body camera footage from the officers, citing the ongoing investigation.

The two approximately 30-minute clips present an even more desperate scene than previously depicted in bystander and surveillance video of the deadly Memorial Day encounter, which has fueled widespread protests calling for police reform and transformed national conversations around race, social justice and police brutality.

The footage comes from body cameras worn by J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas K. Lane, the officers who were the first to encounter Floyd on a South Minneapolis street as they investigated a 911 complaint about a fake $20 bill passed at a convenience store.

Lane body camera video.

Lane pulls his gun on Floyd.

The videos show then-Minneapolis police officer Lane pull a gun on Floyd within 15 seconds of encountering him in a parked vehicle last May. The officer confronts Floyd without announcing who he was or what he was investigating.

Visibly panicked, the 46-year-old Black man begs officers not to kill him, repeatedly calling them “sir” and “Mr. Officer.”

Kueng body camera video.

Floyd struggles with police.

Within two minutes of being confronted by Lane, Floyd is placed in handcuffs and appears increasingly distraught. Floyd is walked over to a squad car, where officers struggle to place him in the back of the vehicle for more than four minutes. Floyd resists getting in the vehicle, saying he is claustrophobic and has anxiety. “I’m going to die in here. … I just had covid, I don’t want to go back to that,” he says.

Lane body camera video.

Chauvin places his knee on Floyd’s neck.

Officers eventually removed him from the car and pinned him to the ground, where Floyd moaned and begged for his life. Then-officer Derek Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s throat for more than nine minutes — a longer time than previously estimated.

Chauvin told Floyd that he must be okay because he was able to speak, saying that he was using up a lot of oxygen pleading for help.

“They’ll kill me. They’ll kill me,” Floyd gasped in response. A few seconds later, he was motionless.

Kueng body camera video.

Kueng finds Floyd does not have a pulse.

After a woman who identifies herself as an off-duty firefighter begs the officers to check Floyd’s pulse, Kueng says he can’t find one. “Huh?” Chauvin replies, but keeps his knee on Floyd’s neck for at least another two minutes, as officers Kueng and Lane appear to ease their weight off his motionless body.

Floyd said he could not breathe at least 25 times while he was restrained.

Lane body camera video.

The ambulance arrives, Lane begins chest compressions.

Chauvin removes his knee when an ambulance arrives from Hennepin Healthcare Emergency Medical Services. Around one minute later, the video shows emergency medical personnel then check Floyd for a pulse before he is loaded onto a white stretcher.

Nearly three minutes later, chest compressions begin, after one of the emergency medical technicians instructs officer Lane to start performing CPR on Floyd inside the ambulance.

Hennepin Healthcare Emergency Medical Services, which dispatches ambulances in Minneapolis, did not respond to messages requesting comment on workers’ handling of Floyd.

There is no sign of life, including when a medical device is placed on Floyd’s chest to perform mechanical chest compressions. Floyd was formally pronounced dead at a hospital about an hour later — 9:25 p.m., according to police.

Chauvin, a 19-year Minneapolis police veteran of the Minneapolis police, has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other officers at the scene — Kueng, Lane and Tou Thao — have been charged with aiding and abetting. All four were fired by the Minneapolis police and are scheduled to be back in court Sept. 11.

You can watch Lane and Keung’s full body camera videos here. The videos contain graphic content.
Full Lane body camera video.
Full Kueng body camera video.

Drea Cornejo contributed to this report. Designed and developed by Lucio Villa.

Holly Bailey is a national political reporter for The Washington Post covering the 2020 presidential campaign. She was previously a national correspondent for Yahoo News and a White House correspondent for Newsweek.FollowFollow
Dalton Bennett is a Pulitzer Prize-winning researcher at The Washington Post, where he has worked since 2016 after five years covering conflict with the AP. FollowFollow
Sarah Cahlan edits and produces videos for the Fact Checker at The Washington Post. FollowFollow
Elyse Samuels is a digital video editor focused on verifying viral video, reporting on misinformation and manipulated video that spreads online. She joined The Washington Post in October 2016 as a producer for the Facebook Live team. She then transitioned to the universal desk where she focused on editing breaking news content.FollowFollow