British paper publishes leaked police bodycam video of Floyd arrest

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FILE – This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shows Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder of George Floyd, a Black man who died after being restrained by him and the other Minneapolis police officers on May 25. Kueng, Lane and Thao have been charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin. Video from the body cameras of two officers charged in the death of Floyd is being made available for public viewing by appointment on Wednesday, July 15 but a judge has so far declined to allow news media organizations to publish the footage for wider distribution. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP/WTVO) — A Minnesota court is investigating how a British newspaper obtained police body-camera footage showing the arrest and death of George Floyd.

The Daily Mail on Monday published parts of videos from two Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd’s arrest on May 25. A Hennepin County judge last month allowed journalists and members of the public to view the footage by appointment but has not yet ruled on a motion by a coalition of news organizations, including The Associated Press, seeking public access to the videos.

The newspaper’s article said the videos were leaked to DailyMail.com. The website shows about 10 minutes from former Officer Thomas Lane’s bodycam and about 18 minutes from former Officer J. Kueng’s bodycam.

In the video, former Officer Thomas Lane is seen trying to get Floyd out of his vehicle, while pointing a gun at him. Floyd can be heard saying, “Please don’t shoot me, Mr. Officer,” while Lane orders him to put his hands on the wheel. Once Floyd does, Lane holsters his weapon and tries to coax Floyd out of the car.

The officers tell Floyd they’ve stopped him because he allegedly used a counterfeit bill, and lead him to a squad car, at which point Floyd resists the officers, begging not to be put inside the car and that he is “claustrophobic,” despite being seated in his own car moments earlier.

“I am claustrophobic, for real,” Floyd says. “I’m going to die in here. I’m going to die, man.”

At one point, Lane questions whether Floyd is “on something.”

“Why’s he getting all squirrelly and not showing us his hands. and just being all weird like that?” he asks Floyd’s girlfriend, Shawanda Hill, who suggests Floyd has a mental issue.

As officers get Floyd into the car, he tells them he can’t breathe, at which point they drag him out of the car and to the pavement.

Floyd calls out for his mother and repeatedly insists he can’t breathe.

“Relax,” one of the officers responds. “You’re talking fine.”

Lane asks former Officer Derek Chauvin if Floyd should be turned on his side, to which Chauvin replies that “he’s staying put where we got him.”

“OK, I just worry about the excited delirium or whatever,” Lane says.

“Well, that’s why we got the ambulance coming,” Chauvin replies.

Bystanders are heard telling officers that Floyd has become unresponsive, and former Officer J. Kueng checks his pulse, which is where the video ends.

Hennepin County District Court spokesman Spenser Bickett told the Star Tribune an investigation is underway into the leak, but declined further comment.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office is leading the prosecution of the four fired Minneapolis police officers charged in Floyd’s death, said he was not the source of the leak.

“We will continue to take the strictest precautions to ensure a fair trial,” Ellison said in a statement.

Representatives of the Daily Mail did not immediately respond to an AP request for comment Monday.

Floyd, a handcuffed Black man, died after Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, held his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes as Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe. Floyd’s death touched off protests worldwide.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Lane, Kueng and another former officer, Tou Thao, are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. All four officers were fired.

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