A series of violent protests took place after the death of black man George Floyd while being arrested by police in Minnesota on May 25. Here is what happened in Floyd’s last minutes.
Clips that have gone viral around the world since May 25 show officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, causing him to die. Chauvin has now been charged with murder.
According to the BBC, the entire process leading up to Floyd’s death lasted only about 30 minutes – based on crime scene clips, eyewitness accounts and US police records.
In particular, from 8:19′ to more than 8:27′ on the evening of May 25 is the most haunting time, when the policeman kept his knee on Floyd’s neck. According to the New York Times, this period lasted exactly 8 minutes and 46 seconds, but left extremely devastating consequences.
On the evening of May 25, police in Minneapolis, Minnesota were reported by a store to suspect George Floyd (46 years old) of using a fake $20 bill.
Present at the scene first were two policemen Thomas Lane and J.A. Kueng. They arrived at Floyd’s car and found him in the driver’s seat with two other passengers. Officer Lane began talking to Floyd, then drew a gun and aimed it at him through an open car window, asking to raise his arms.
When Floyd put his hand on the steering wheel, Officer Lane pulled his gun back, giving orders as he pulled him out of the car. Floyd “resisted when he was handcuffed”, but then “complied” while being restrained. Lane sat the suspect down and asked for his name, identification, and reason for his arrest.
Lane, along with Officer Keung, was present from the start, jostling Floyd to his feet and apparently dragging him to the police car. At 8:14 pm, Floyd suddenly stiffened and fell to the ground, saying that he had claustrophobic (claustrophobic syndrome).
Soon after, two officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao also arrived at the scene in another police car. It is known that Floyd and officer Chauvin (44 years old) have worked together at a nightclub in Minneapolis for about a year.
“When Chauvin was not on duty at the police station, he was in charge of security for us for the past 17 years, since the bar opened for business,” said Maya Santamaria, owner of El Nuevo Rancho bar. . This is also the bar that Floyd works as a guard inside.
“They were working in the same timeframe, it’s just Chauvin that was on the security outside and the security guards on duty inside.” However, Ms. Santamaria could not confirm whether the officer and Floyd knew each other.
Returning to the scene, the police side, now consisting of 4 people, made many attempts to put Floyd in the back seat of the patrol car. But Floyd “involuntarily stepped in and fought with the police when he intentionally fell to the ground” – according to the case file.
While standing outside the car, Floyd appeared to say he couldn’t breathe. The police were still trying to get him into the passenger seat.
Next, Chauvin pulled Floyd to the side of the car, put the suspect in a face-down position and was always handcuffed. Two other police officers immobilized Floyd’s leg. At 8:19 ‘, Chauvin put his left knee on the back of Floyd’s neck.
When Floyd shouted “I can’t breathe”, “Mom” and “Please”, the police responded: “You can still talk.”
In the end, however, Officer Lane expressed: “Should we turn him over?”
Chauvin replied: “No, just stay where we arrested him.”
When Lane was concerned “about the delirium” of the suspect, Chauvin said: “That’s why we put him on his stomach.”
At 8:24, Floyd stopped moving. About a minute later, there was an episode like a video that went viral across the US, showing Floyd almost unable to talk or breathe.
Officer Keung checked the pulse on Floyd’s right wrist and said no pulse was detected. Even so, none of the policemen moved from their posts.
3 minutes later, 8:27 ‘, Chauvin removed his knee from Floyd’s nape. An ambulance was called to the scene but the man did not survive. Hennepin County Medical Center announced Floyd’s death shortly after.
Floyd, 46, lost his job as a security guard at the Conga Latin Bistro bar due to its closure during the Covid-19 pandemic. Nearly 2 meters tall, Floyd was joked by friends that he was a “friendly giant”.
Floyd moved to Minneapolis from Houston, Texas – where he was a star on the high school football team.
His life has tripped many times, in 2007 being accused of robbery in Texas. Despite being sentenced to five years in prison, Floyd was acquitted in 2009. He moved to Minneapolis around 2014, leaving behind his young daughter, now 6 years old and still living with her mother.
The Covid-19 epidemic was another shock in this man’s life, causing him to lose his job and struggle to cling to his second job – truck driver.
His last words – “I can’t breathe” – are resounding throughout the United States during protests over the past several days. But before, it also resounded in the painful history of the country of flags.
Eric Garner struggled to utter these words when he was strangled to death by a police officer on Staten Island (New York City) in July 2014. In the incidents, both people who died were black and the two policemen were white.