As the death of George Floyd continues to be examined, newly released bodycam transcripts reveal that he told officers "I can't breathe" more than 20 times before he died. Floyd died on May 25, while officers were attempting to arrest him on suspicion of forgery. The incident was caught on video by witnesses, revealing much of what Floyd said as he pleaded for his life while former officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck.
Now, the official transcripts of the audio captured by the officers' bodycam's has been released, and this offers more details as to what transpired. At one point, Floyd said, "They're going to kill me. They're going to kill me, man." Chauvin replied, "Takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to say that." Floyd responded, "Come on, man. I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe," and then once again said, They're going to kill me. They're going to kill me. I can't breathe." His final transcribed words were, "Please, sir. Please. Please."
George Floyd told police officers some 20 times that he could not breathe, according to transcripts of body camera video.
Floyd: Ah! Ah! Please. Please. Please.
Lane: Should we roll him on his side?
Chauvin: No, he's staying put where we got him.https://t.co/caAGr5SJWN— NPR (@NPR) July 9, 2020
In its initial report, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner stated that they discovered "no physical findings" to support "a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation" as Floyd's cause of death. This prompted Floyd's family to have an independent autopsy done, as they were skeptical of these findings. Pathologists Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson completed the independent autopsy, and determined that Floyd's death was a "homicide caused by asphyxia." Dr. Baden added, "Police have this false impression that if you can talk, you can breathe. That's not true."
Chauvin, 44, initially was charged with third-degree murder, but his charges were later upgraded to include second-degree unintentional murder and manslaughter. The other three officers — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao — are all charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. All four men were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department, and arrested. Chauvin is the only one who remains behind bars, as the other three have all been released on bond. Lane has since filed a request to have the charges against him dismissed — per the NY Times — based on actions he took, such as being the one to request an ambulance for Floyd when he stated that he was in distress.