Authorities in Minneapolis on Friday afternoon released a criminal complaint against officer Derek Chauvin, who has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder in the death of unarmed black man George Floyd.
Among other things, the document reveals that Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for a total of eight minutes and 46 seconds. For the final two minutes and 53 seconds, Floyd was non-responsive.
“The defendant pulled Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side of the squad car at 8:19:38 p.m. and Mr. Floyd went to the ground face down and still handcuffed,” the complaint says. “[Officer] Kueng held Mr. Floyd’s back and [Officer] Lane held his legs. The defendant placed his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck. Mr. Floyd said, ‘I can’t breathe’ multiple times and repeatedly said, ‘Mama’ and ‘please,’ as well. The defendant and the other two officers stayed in their positions. The officers said, ‘You are talking fine’ to Mr. Floyd as he continued to move back and forth. Lane asked, ‘should we roll him on his side?’ and the defendant said, ‘No, staying put where we got him.’ Officer Lane said, ‘I am worried about excited delirium or whatever.’ The defendant said, ‘That’s why we have him on his stomach.’ None of the three officers moved from their positions.
“BWC video shows Mr. Floyd continue to move and breathe. At 8:24:24, Mr. Floyd stopped moving,” the complaint continues. “At 8:25:31 the video appears to show Mr. Floyd ceasing to breathe or speak. Lane said, ‘want to roll him on his side.’ Kueng checked Mr. Floyd’s right wrist for a pulse and said, ‘I couldn’t find one.’ None of the officers moved from their positions. At 8:27:24, the defendant removed his knee from Mr. Floyd’s neck. An ambulance and emergency medical personnel arrived, the officers placed Mr. Floyd on a gurney, and the ambulance left the scene. Mr. Floyd was pronounced dead at Hennepin County Medical Center. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner (ME) conducted Mr. Floyd’s autopsy on May 26, 2020. The full report of the ME is pending but the ME has made the following preliminary findings. The autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death. The defendant had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total. Two minutes and 53 seconds of this was after Mr. Floyd was non-responsive. Police are trained that this type of restraint with asubject in a prone position is inherently dangerous.”
Read the full complaint below.