Former Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao have been charged in the death of George Floyd. All four have been fired by the MPD. On Friday, Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill ordered copies of bodycam footage from Keung and Lane to be released to the public and they were published on Monday
New video footage shows the moments leading up to George Floyd‘s death, this time from the perspective of Minneapolis Police Officer Tou Thao.
The clip released Thursday captures how the cop stood between his colleagues and onlookers, who are so disturbed by what they’re seeing that they begin recording it on their cell phones.
Full video of George arrest released
As Floyd cries out for help, telling officers Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng that he can’t breathe while they apply immense pressure to his body, Thao pushes people back.
‘You’re just gonna let him keep his hand on his neck like that? You’re a b**** bro. Thao you’re a b**** bro,’ one man tells him after the crowd has repeatedly tried to reason with the officers.
Thao appears to respond: ‘Yes.’
‘And then he fell silent. He stopped moving. He stopped breathing. And the officers could not find a pulse,’ according to a court document.
Bodycam shows Tou Thao trying to control crowd as Floyd dies
The video made available Thursday comes from Tou Thao, one of four former Minneapolis police officers charged in Floyd’s death. Floyd, who was Black, died after a white officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes on a south Minneapolis street May 25 as Floyd repeatedly said he could not breathe.
During the arrest, Thao makes sure witnesses stay on the sidewalk while Floyd’s body is restricted behind the patrol vehicle on May 25 around 8.20pm.
He held back a crowd of nearly a dozen bystanders, many of whom recorded the scene with their cellphones, as Chauvin pinned down Floyd with his knee. Two other officers, Thomas Lane and J. Kueng, held down Floyd, who was suspected of passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store.
The man continues to address Thao, saying: “You gonna let him kill that man in front of you, bro? Bro, he’s not even … moving right now, bro.”
Thao orders the crowd onto the sidewalk. At one point he tells the onlookers: “This is why you don’t do drugs, kids.”
When a woman who identifies herself as a Minneapolis firefighter arrives out of uniform, Thao yells at her: “Back off!” She asks if the officers have checked Floyd’s pulse.
“Let me see a pulse,” she demands of the police.
“Check his pulse,” the man says. “You bogus, bro. ‘Don’t do drugs,’ bro? … You call what he’s doing OK?”
The crowd grows more agitated. “What … are you doing?” a young woman shouts. “He’s dying!”
When the man approaches Thao with his phone, Thao shoves him back toward the sidewalk, yelling: “Get out of the street!”
Tou Thao’s lawyer argued last week that Thao ‘immediately turned his attention to crowd control’ and kept his back to Floyd and the other officers. He is charged with aiding and the abetting the murder of George Floyd [right] by Derek Chauvin
He makes sure witnesses stay on the sidewalk while Floyd’s body is restricted behind the patrol vehicle on May 25 around 8.20pm.
Throughout the video witnesses yell at him not to touch them as he is seen reaching to push them away.
One woman asks if Floyd has a pulse but Thao yells at her to get out of the road and tells her she doesn’t know what she’s doing.
She states her experience, which is bleeped out, and responds: ‘I do know.’
Others make it very clear they are taking pictures of him specifically, while he battles to keep them away.
It helps paint a more comprehensive picture of events outside Cup Foods after staff called authorities as they suspected Floyd was trying to use a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes on May 25.
It doesn’t document his exact viewing angle but helps to determine what he may have seen and heard.
The footage was released after Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill Friday ordered copies of bodycam footage from Keung and Lane to be released to the public. These were published on Monday.
The footage does not show exactly what Tou Thao saw but indicates his perspective of the killing while standing up.
Concerned passersby stopped to record the arrest. Some of the witnesses are minors, including a 17-year-old girl [in blue pants] who recorded the incident on her cell phone
Left he is seen controlling the crowd in a previously released clip. While Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck, Kueng and Lane held Floyd down [right], while Thao [left], prevented bystanders from intervening
The newly released video evidence directly contradicts the argument put up last week by Thao’s lawyer that he ‘immediately turned his attention to crowd control’ and kept his back to Floyd and the other officers
According to a memo from last week, Thao had offered a hobble restraint to the other three officers, but they refused it.
A hobble restraint is sometimes used to by police to restrain suspects by their wrists and ankles. The device limits the person’s movement while keeping them in a seated position.
Thao then ‘immediately turned his attention to crowd control’ and kept his back to Floyd and the other officers for the majority of the remainder of the arrest, the memo said.
‘When Officer Thao turned his back to Mr Floyd and the three other officers for the last time, Mr Floyd was still alive and breathing,’ the memo said.
‘Officer Thao did nothing to aid in the commission of a crime.’
Thao never placed his hands on Floyd, according to the memo.
However evidence also shows the four ‘worked together to commit the crime,’ Keith Ellison, Attorney General for Minnesota, said.
George Floyd pleads with officers while being held at gunpoint
Ellison filed a memo arguing that evidence against the four is similar, and that a single trial would be more humane for those testifying.
Holding one trial also would allow the community and the nation to absorb the impact of the verdicts for the four officers at once, instead of piecemeal, Ellison argued.
A single trial also would spare witnesses and Floyd’s family members from having to ‘recount the harrowing details of Floyd’s death,’ Ellison argued.
The attorney general also cited the travel costs and lost wages of witnesses testifying at four separate trials, the risk of testifying in person during the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that several eyewitnesses are minors.
The next court hearing for the four is scheduled for September 11.
Rev Al Sharpton delivers sermon at Floyd’s funeral service in Houston Texas
Giant mural at makeshift memorial outside Cup Foods where George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer assisted by three colleagues on May 25, 2020
Floyd repeatedly says he cannot breathe and calls out for his mother before passing out. He was pronounced dead at a hospital that evening.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Lane, Kueng and Thao are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. All four officers were fired and are scheduled for trial in March.
The next court hearing for the four is scheduled for Sept. 11.