Since the May 25 death of George Floyd, we’ve learned that the original footage filmed by bystanders that we all have seen—and that kicked off the largest Black Lives Matter movement the world has ever seen—was just the tip of the iceberg. Since then, audio transcripts taken from the body cameras of two of the officers involved in Floyd’s killing have been released to the public, and limited in-person viewings of that video footage have also been allowed. To date, that footage has not been released for news organizations to publish or for people to view on any public platform. But the footage was recently leaked, and many people have seen— for the first time—the terror Floyd experienced in the moments leading up to his death, as well as the apparent disregard for his physical wellbeing displayed by Minneapolis police officers.
It’s unclear how The Daily Mail obtained video footage taken from the body cameras of former officers Thomas Lane and Alex Kueng, but an investigation into the leak has been launched, according to CBS News. But considering the fact that a “coalition of media companies” filed a motion last month calling for the video evidence to be fully released to the public, some may agree that the leaking of the footage is long overdue.
From Daily Mail:
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.
It also shows how belligerent cops cursed at and manhandled the sobbing suspect, ignoring his pleas for compassion.
Floyd resisted as the cops tried to force him into the back of the car, telling them he suffers from claustrophobia and anxiety and how Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, leading to his death, ignoring Floyd’s repeated cries of ‘I can’t breathe.’
Floyd is even heard predicting his own death. ‘I’ll probably just die this way,’ he says.
The footage includes more than 18 minutes from Officer Alex Kueng’s bodycam and 10 minutes from Officer Thomas Lane. They were the first two cops to arrive on the scene after a complaint that Floyd had attempted to pass a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes at Cup Foods, a store in the Powderhorn Park section of Minneapolis.
If we’re being honest, the use of excessive force by police officers needs to be exposed as often and as extensively as possible.
Business Insider reports that a new study conducted by Amnesty International found that between May 26 and June 5—the ten days following Floyd’s death—there were at least 125 separate instances of excessive force used by police officers against Black Lives Matter protesters.
So basically, a lot of cops responded to protests over police brutality...by being brutal to protesters.
This is why we march. This is why we kneel. This is why civil unrest continues. We don’t just want justice for Floyd and other victims of police violence, we want to force a change in the current practices of policing. Public scrutiny appears to be the best and possibly the only method we can use to get us there.