Leaked police body-cam videos in Floyd case sparks investigation


An investigation is underway in Hennepin County after videos of Minneapolis police body-cam footage were leaked of George Floyd’s arrest. The Hennepin County District Court and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office are working to determine how British tabloid The Daily Mail obtained two videos, which were posted online Monday.

Floyd died in police custody on May 25, and up until now, the public had only seen videos shot by bystanders and nearby surveillance videos. Video showing former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin with his knee pressed against Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes has sparked global outrage and a renewed call for a drastic change in policing.

All four officers involved have been charged. Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter, while Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

The leaked video includes the initial moments of Floyd’s arrest, where he’s seated in a car and approached by Lane. As Lane taps the car window, Floyd appears surprised and repeatedly says, “I’m sorry; I’m sorry” and asks, “What did I do?” Lane pulls his gun, grabs his arm, and demands, “Put your f#$%ing hands in the air.” Floyd repeatedly pleads, “Please don’t shoot me,” as Lane orders him to step out of the vehicle. Floyd appears distraught and distressed throughout the videos.

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill has prohibited the body-cam videos from being released to the public but allowed an in-person viewing for media in July at the Hennepin County Courthouse. Many media outlets speculated that the footage was captured by a cellphone during that viewing session, although recording was prohibited. A coalition of media outlets has filed a motion for the footage to be released to the public.

The next court date for the former officers is September 11, while a tentative trial date is set for March 8, 2021.