Derek Chauvin walked up to a Minneapolis police SUV as another officer tried to force George Floyd into the car. Officers had taken Floyd out of one car, to the sidewalk and were now trying to place him in the cruiser.
“I’m claustrophobic, I’m claustrophobic, man,” Floyd shouted at the officer as Chauvin watches from nearby, the moment captured on Chauvin’s body camera footage.
The officer got more aggressive with Floyd. Up to that point, they’ve asked him dozens of times to calm down, follow their orders and get in the car. He has resisted. The officer tried to force Floyd inside the car.
“I’m not a bad guy,” Floyd yelled. “I’m not a bad guy!”
The officer forced Floyd inside the car, but he continues to struggle and the officer on the other side of the car tries to grab hold. Chauvin told that officer to “hold ‘em.”
“I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” Floyd yelled from inside the car as he struggles with police trying to get him in the cruiser.
Officers pulled him out of the other side of the car as he is on his back. They flip him over and lean his chest against the car. Chauvin’s hands slide up around Floyd’s back and wrap around the back of Floyd’s neck for a brief moment. One hand then returns to Floyd’s back as officers take the suspect to the ground.
Chauvin’s camera is knocked off and rolled under the car showing only the pavement for the next 9 minutes. But, the other officer’s cameras captured what happened next.
POLICE MEET GEORGE FLOYD
For the first time Wednesday, the public saw the body camera footage from the officers involved in George Floyd’s death. All four were criminally charged, and Chauvin is the first to go to trial in Minnesota. He faces counts of second- and third-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter.
Floyd died in May 2020, as officers tried to arrest him for passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a grocery store. Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes during the incident. Floyd was unconscious for about five of the minutes.
Prosecutors claim Floyd used excessive force and betrayed his oath by not providing care for the suspect in his custody. However, the defense has argued Chauvin was only doing as he was trained.
Witnesses who saw Floyd inside the grocery store and with the police were featured during Wednesday’s testimony. Prosecutors also played video from inside the store and the police officer’s body cameras.
Christopher Martin worked in the convenience store Floyd visited before the incident with the police. He said he believed that Floyd was under the influence while he talked to him.
Martin was questioned about the counterfeit bill that Floyd tried to use on the day of his death. Martin said he initially would let his manager take the $20 for the bill off of his own tab, but when he told his manager about it, he instructed him to confront Floyd in his vehicle.
"I notified them that they needed to come back into the store and the bill was fake and my boss wanted to talk to them," Martin said.
He said Floyd "just seemed like he didn't want this to happen. He was just kind of like, 'why is this happening?'"
After Floyd refused to come into the store, an employee called the police.
As the first officers arrived on the scene, the store manager pointed out Floyd, who sat in a minivan. An officer used a flashlight to knock on the window, clearly startling Floyd. Floyd opened the door and the officers told him to stay in the car and show his hands. When Floyd didn’t, an officer pulled his gun and pointed it at Floyd, who put his hands up.
The officers tried to get Floyd out of the car, but Floyd was being difficult. Eventually, officers removed Floyd from the vehicle and put him on the sidewalk. They continue to talk to him and tell him they are going to put him in the cruiser.
Witness Charles McMillian stood near police cars as officers tried to take Floyd into custody.
"The officer was, you know, trying to get him in the car and everything, talking to him, I was telling him, Mr. Floyd, Mr. Floyd just comply, get in the car because you can't win. Something to that nature," McMillian testified.
After watching emotional camera footage, the witness cried and broke down on the stand.
McMillian also stated he interacted with Chauvin after the attack because he felt that what he saw was “wrong,” and he wanted to tell him that.
He said that he told Chauvin, “I don’t respect what you did.”
The body camera showed officers as they tried to load George Floyd in the back of a police cruiser though he resisted their commands and said he was claustrophobic.
“Face the vehicle,” the officer yelled.
“I’m not resisting man. I’m not,” Floyd stated.
The two Minneapolis officers continued to tell Floyd to calm down as they searched him. The cops tried to force Floyd inside the car again, but he states he claustrophobic and that he can’t breathe. As officers forced him inside the car, the struggle continues on the other side. They eventually put him on the ground with Chauvin on Floyd’s neck and another officer at his midsection and one holding his legs.
“I can’t breathe, let me stand. Please. I can’t breathe,” Floyd said.
Officers ignored his request. At one point, an officer told Floyd that it “takes a heck of a lot of oxygen” to talk as much as he is.
Floyd continued to plead until he went silent, with officers still pinning him to the ground. The crowd told the cops that Floyd isn’t breathing and asked the officers to check his pulse. The officers reached down to Floyd’s wrist and put his hand there, though he took no further action.
“He’s breathing,” one officer said.
The officers remain on top of Floyd as the crowd continued to beg and chastise the officers. One officer asks if they should roll Floyd on his side, but the officers didn’t move.
Officers talk on the radio and stated that EMS was asked to get to the scene as fast as possible, though they remained on top of the now-still Floyd.
Medical staff arrived and checked Floyd, though three officers remained on top and Chauvin’s knee stayed on his neck. The officers hold the position even as the gurney is lowered from the ambulance. It wasn’t until it was next to Floyd that officers get off the suspect.
The officers rolled Floyd on the Gurney as EMS started to put him on the ambulance. The officers say little. One asks if they should ride along.
The unconscious Floyd, now lifeless, says nothing. His eyes closed. Minutes later, he would be pronounced dead.