KEY POINTS

  • George Floyd pleaded with the officers that he “could not breathe” 20 times
  • The newly-released transcripts come from Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng’s body cameras
  • Lane and Kueng want the charges against them, for aiding and abetting Derek Chauvin, dropped

George Floyd told the Minneapolis police officers who apprehended him on May 25 that he could not breathe at least 20 times, a newly-released transcript of the police body cameras revealed.

The transcript also detailed that as he begged for air, the cop who pressed his knee on Floyd's neck, dismissed his pleas, and said, "It takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk."

"You're going to kill me, man," Floyd apparently told Derek Chauvin, the white police officer who has been accused of second-degree murder, when he pinned Floyd to the ground for almost eight minutes.

"They'll kill me. They'll kill me. I can't breathe. I can't breathe," Floyd repeatedly said.

The body camera video transcripts, released to the public Wednesday, July 8, came from officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng and was dubbed by The New York Times as the "most thorough and dramatic account" of the death of Floyd.

Lane and Kueng were two of the officers involved in Floyd's case, who were seeking to have their charges dropped from the Minnesota state court.  They were accused of aiding and abetting Chauvin.

A memorial to George Floyd, painted on a wall in Minneapolis A memorial to George Floyd, painted on a wall in Minneapolis Photo: AFP / Kerem Yucel

The transcript showed that during his arrest, Floyd kept asking the cops what he did and Lane and Keung told him to put his hands up. When the cops asked Floyd to get out of his car, he pleaded, “Please don’t shoot me Mr. Officer, please.”

Floyd kept saying sorry to the cops while they placed a handcuff on him. At one point, Keung told Floyd to stop resisting.

Lane and Keung then explained to Floyd why he was pulled over but as Floyd apparently was fidgeting and moving, Lane had to ask if he was "on something."

"You acting real erratic," Keung told Floyd, who said that he was scared.

At this point, Keung noticed that Floyd's mouth was foaming. The cops told him to keep still because he was falling down and they had a hard time getting Floyd to the squad car.

Floyd said he was feeling claustrophobic and just wanted to lie down on the ground because he could not breathe. Chauvin then arrived at the scene and ordered the two officers to get Floyd down on the ground again.

Chauvin asked Floyd if he was high and the officers looked for a device on his clothes. As he was being pinned down, Floyd said everything in his body hurts and he needs water.

"Please. Please. I can’t breathe, officer,” Floyd said over and over.

Bystanders tried to intervene as Floyd appeared to be in distress. Minutes passed and Lane asked Chauvin if they should set Floyd on his side but Chauvin told them to leave things as it is. When they did roll him, after Lane asked Chauvin a second time, Keung checked for a pulse and could not find one.

Lane said in his interview with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) that Chauvin was not their supervisor but he had more than 20 years of experience.

"You trust and go to your senior officers for experience and help on calls and what's the best thing to do in this situation. They give you direction and kind of you follow their lead," Lane told the BCA investigators.

His attorney, Earl Gray, said the release of these transcripts will prove that Lane didn't just stand by to watch Chauvin kill Floyd.

Check the full transcripts from body camera footage of Thomas Lane and Alexander Keung here