The unjust killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police has sparked the biggest movement in America’s history. The past six weeks have seen riots, mass peaceful protests and online activism but the fight for justice for George Floyd and many victims before him has not stopped. New details have emerged during court proceedings which reveal Floyd feared for his life as police approached him.
According to official transcript obtained by TMZ, former Minneapolis officer Thomas Lane confronted Floyd in his car before demanding he show his hands. Seemingly nervous by the police officer, George Floyd begins apologising, insisting he was uncomfortable due to a previous gun-related charge.
“I’m so sorry. God dang man … I got shot the same way Mr. Officer, before,” Floyd reportedly told Lane. “Last time, I got shot like that Mr. Officer, it was the same thing … Please don’t shoot me. Please, man … I’ll look at you eye-to-eye, man. Please don’t shoot me.”
Lane responded by saying he would not shoot Floyd. Moments later however, he was arrested and a second police officer, Derek Chauvin, had the man pinned to the ground with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. George Floyd’s last words were, “I can’t breathe”. It was these moments that were captured and posted to social media.
After uproar from the community, Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with murder and manslaughter. Lane and fellow officers J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao were each charged with manslaughter as well as aiding and abetting murder.
The transcripts are being used by Lane’s defence to prove he was not responsible for Floyd’s death. The Star-Tribune reports that Lane’s lawyer Earl Gray has said, “Lane did not intentionally aid, advise, hire, counsel, or conspire with Chauvin or otherwise procure Chauvin to commit second degree murder. Lane did not encourage any alleged criminal actions of Chauvin … Lane did not know what Chauvin was thinking while restraining Floyd. Chauvin did not verbally tell Lane anything about his intentions other than waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Lane knew Floyd needed to be restrained and he knew Chauvin was authorised to use reasonable force to restrain.”
Video edit: Kimberlee Kessler