The defense attorney for former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane, who has been criminally charged along with three other former cops in connection to the death of George Floyd, is appealing for the charges against Lane to be dropped.
A memorandum supporting a motion to dismiss the charges was filed by attorney Earl Gray Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court.
The filing is one of several new documents released in relation to his case on Wednesday, with others including details and transcripts of the bodycams worn by the officers who responded, and details from Lane's interview with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
The document claims that Floyd was behaving "erratically," mentioned to officers he'd recently had COVID-19 – which was confirmed in his autopsy – and said "I can't breathe" several times as the officers tried to put him in the squad car, adding that he was "claustrophobic."
He then allegedly said "I want to lay on the ground," before Lane told the other officers to "get him on the ground."
It was while he was on the ground that ex-officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for 7 minutes and 46 seconds, with Lane holding onto his legs and J. Alexander Kueng holding him down at his back.
Floyd was confirmed dead a short time later at HCMC.
During the course of holding him down, the transcript shows Lane asking "Should we roll him on his side," only for Chauvin to respond: "No, he's staying put where we got him."
"Okay. I just worry about the excited delirium or whatever," Lane responds, to which Chauvin says: "Well that’s why we got the ambulance coming."
Lane asks once again whether Floyd should be rolled on his side, and that Lane went into the ambulance to help with CPR when paramedics arrived.
It's because of Lane asking twice whether Floyd should be turned over that Gray believes the charges of 2nd-degree aiding and abetting murder against his client should be dismissed.
What the bodycam transcript says
Transcripts released with the filing sheds more light on the conversation Lane and Kueng had with Floyd when they first arrived to question him about using an alleged fraudulent bill at Cup Foods.
Warning: The following contains upsetting details.
Kueng and Lane initially came across Floyd in a vehicle parked near Cup Foods, and when they approached the vehicle they repeatedly told Floyd to show his hands.
He showed one hand but not the other, prompting Lane to say "Put your f------ hands up right now. Show me your other hand."
In interview with the BCA, Lane said he'd "noticed the driver and passenger in the vehicle digging underneath the seat, as if reaching for something," and said he put his gun away when Floyd put his hands up.
During the course of this, Floyd asked: "What do we do Mr. Officer," before saying that he had previously been shot.
"Man, I got, I got shot the same way Mr. Officer, before," he said, and after he was told to "put your f------ hands up," he said: "I am so sorry, Mr. Officer, dang man."
As he was told to get out of the vehicle and place his hands on his head, Floyd said: "Okay, Mr. Officer, please don't shoot me. Please, man."
"I'm not going to shoot you," Lane replied. "Step out and face away."
A witness who was in the car with him, Shawanda Renee Hill, shouted "stop resisting Floyd" as Floyd seemingly struggled to follow police directions, with Lane and Kueng telling him to put his hands behind his back and to stop walking away.
"I'm sorry Mr. Officer," Floyd said shortly after. "I'll get on my knees or whatever."
Lane's interview with the BCA said that Floyd's erratic behavior and "foam at the mouth" led them to believe he was "on something." A toxicology report later found traces of fentanyl in his system, though it's unclear what effect it had on his behavior.
Kueng told Floyd to "stop resisting," to which he replied: "I'm not."
Lane spoke to Hill, asking her why Floyd was "being all squirrelly and not showing us his hands?" She replied that she doesn't know, but said "he's been shot before."
"He have problems all the time when they [the police] come, especially when that man put that gun like that. It's been one," she said.
A short time later, Lane explains the situation to Hill, saying: "Okay well so here's the thing, someone passed a fake bill in there. We come over here, he starts grabbing for his keys and all that stuff, starts getting weird, not showing us his hands. I don't know what's going on, so you're coming out of the car."
Floyd says he's not "on something" when asked by Lane, and when asked why he's being erratic, he says: "I'm scared, man."
Regarding the foam around his mouth, Floyd said he had been "hooping" earlier, and then said he was calming down, saying: "I'm feeling better now."
But it was as the officers started moving him towards the squad car that he grew panicked, saying he's claustrophobic and attempting to drop to the ground.
"Please man, don't leave me by myself, please, I'm just claustrophobic, that's it," he said, before asking them to at least crack a window, which Lane said he would.
"I'll roll the windows down if you put your legs in all right?" Lane says. "I'll put the air on."
As they get to the car, the officers have trouble getting him to take a seat – with Lane later saying "he kicked his way out" and "was fighting us."
Floyd continues to ask the officers not to put him in the squad car, saying "I can't breathe" at one point before asking if he can get on the ground, with Lane eventually saying "get him on the ground" and telling Floyd to "take a seat."
Chauvin and his partner Tou Thao then arrive, and the first thing Chauvin said is: "Is he going to jail?"
At this point it appears that Floyd is in the squad car, with Kueng saying "just come on out" and Thao saying: "Just lay him on the ground."
It appears at this point is when they start holding him down, with Chauvin asking one of the officers for a "restraint."
Floyd starts saying "I can't breathe, I can't breathe, I can't breathe," with Lane exclaiming: "Jesus Christ."
He then starts saying "Mama, mama, mama," before Chauvin tells him he's under arrest and "is going to jail."
"I can't believe this man," Floyd says. "Mom, I love you. I love you. Tell my kids I love them. I'm dead."
Lane asks "if we should get his legs up?" to which Chauvin and Kueng reply: "Just leave him."
The officers then discuss the attempted arrest, with Lane saying they found a "weed pipe" in the car.
As Floyd says he's in pain and is struggling to breathe, Chauvin says: "Then stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk."
The transcript then describes onlookers telling the police to let him get up, while Hill says that he's "about to pass out."
"I think he's passing out," Lane says.
Lane and Kueng tell onlookers "he's breathing" but shortly after witnesses say "he's not responsive." One asks to "see a pulse," with Kueng saying: "I couldn't find one."