British paper publishes police bodycam video of George Floyd arrest
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British paper publishes police bodycam video of George Floyd arrest

Minnesota court investigating how Daily Mail obtained 28 minutes of police body-camera footage showing Floyd’s arrest and death

A still from the police bodycam video showing an officer pointing his gun at George Floyd (Screencapture/Daily Mail)
A still from the police bodycam video showing an officer pointing his gun at George Floyd (Screencapture/Daily Mail)

MINNEAPOLIS — 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.

According to the Daily Mail, the video shows a “rookie officer terrifying Floyd by pointing a handgun at his head and another callously picking a pebble from the squad car tire just inches from the dying man and seconds before he draws his last breath.”

Malaysia Hammond, 19, places flowers at a memorial mural for George Floyd at the corner of Chicago Avenue and 38th Street, May 31, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP/John Minchillo)

“The tapes show in minute detail how a very distressed Floyd begs ‘Mr. Officer, please don’t shoot me. Please man,’ before the struggle that ended with his death on May 25,” the paper said, adding that “cops cursed at and manhandled the sobbing suspect, ignoring his pleas for compassion.”

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.

A combination photo shows the officers charged in George Floyd’s death: from left, Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

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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