Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's comments to George Floyd during his fatal arrest have been revealed, more than a month after the incident. On May 25, Chauvin and three other former officers — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao — were placing Floyd under arrest as bystanders filmed. Floyd could be seen lying on the ground, with Chauvin kneeling on his neck while Floyd pleaded that he couldn't breathe.
Now, transcripts of footage taken from the officer's bodycams reveal that Chauvin replied to Floyd that "it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen" to talk. According to ET, Lane's bodycam footage captured Chauvin replying to Floyd, after he stated he could not breathe, saying, "Then stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk." Kueng's bodycam footage also caught Chauvin replying, "Takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to say that." While transcripts of the body footage have been released to the public, the video footage has not yet been released.
Following Floyd's death, an initial report from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner stated that "no physical findings" were discovered to support "a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation" as Floyd's cause of death. Floyd's family had a private autopsy completed by pathologists Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson, who challenged the results of the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's preliminary autopsy report. The pair stated that their findings determined that Floyd's death was a "homicide caused by asphyxia."
Baden and Wilson stated that they believed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck, as well as two other officers applying restraint to his body, caused a lack of blood flow to the brain and that any "other health issue...could contribute to the death." Directly addressing the notion that Floyd could breathe because he was speaking, Dr. Baden added, "Police have this false impression that if you can talk, you can breathe. That's not true." The Hennepin County Medical Examiner later released its final report and cited Floyd's death as a homicide. All four officers have been charged in connection to Floyd's death, with Chauvin facing second-degree murder charges. They were all taken into custody, but only Chauvin remains in custody. The other former officers were released on bond.