Unsealed bodycam video reveals new details of George Floyd's fatal arrest

"I can't breathe. Please. Your knee in my neck," Floyd is heard saying in one of the videos as the knee is on his neck for about 9½ minutes.

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By Shaquille Brewster and David K. Li

MINNEAPOLIS — A court on Wednesday unsealed new police body camera video taken during the arrest of George Floyd, showing him being startled, apologetic and fearful before being pinned under an officer's knee and ultimately dying.

Video from cameras worn by officers Thomas Lane and Alexander Kueng captured the struggle between Floyd and the police, leading up to officer Derek Chauvin's placing his knee on Floyd's neck for about 9½ minutes — longer than previously estimated.

Floyd's death on May 25 sparked worldwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism.

Lane entered two sets of videos as evidence in his bid to have the charges against him dropped. A Hennepin County judge allowed members of the public to view the video evidence in person Wednesday but not to record it.

On the night of Floyd's death, officers were called to Cup Foods convenience store on a report that Floyd might have passed a bad $20 bill. The newly unsealed video shows:

  • Lane approaches Floyd's car and uses the back of his flashlight to tap on the driver's-side window.
  • Floyd is visibly startled in the vehicle.
  • Lane pulls a service weapon and demands to see Floyd's hands.
  • A confused Floyd looks and leans back, asking, "What did we do, Mr. Officer?"
  • After saying, "I'm sorry, officer," Floyd puts both hands on the steering wheel.
  • "I'm so sorry," Floyd can be heard telling Lane again, explaining that he wants to comply. "I got shot the same way, Mr. Officer, before."
  • Floyd is eventually handcuffed.
  • Lane and Kueng try to push him into the back of their squad car. But he resists, explaining on multiple occasions that he's claustrophobic and had recently battled COVID-19.
  • The officers try to get him into the car on the driver's side, but he eventually falls out the passenger side and says, "Thank you."
  • After failing to get Floyd in the car, Chauvin ends up on with his knee on Floyd's neck for about 9½ minutes, time codes on the video show.
  • Throughout much of his time under Chauvin's knee, Floyd begs for help.
  • "I can't breathe. Please. Your knee in my neck. S---," Floyd can be heard pleading.
  • Chauvin's knee remains on Floyd's neck, even as he appears to pass out and up to the moment he is rolled on to a paramedic's stretcher.
The unveiling of artist Kenny Altidor's memorial portrait of George Floyd on the wall of a CTown Supermarket in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Monday.Angela Weiss / AFP - Getty Images

Prosecutors had originally said Chauvin was on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, and that length of time has become an enduring symbol of the protests. Demonstrators have often gone into 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence.

Weeks later, prosecutors said the amount of time was a minute less, 7 minutes and 46 seconds, before Wednesday's video appeared to show that it was actually a minute longer than initially believed.

Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder. The three other officers involved in the arrest — Tou Thao, Lane and Kueng — are charged with aiding and abetting murder.

Earlier Wednesday, Floyd's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and the four officers.

Shaquille Brewster reported from Minneapolis, and David K. Li from New York.