On May 25th, George Floyd went to buy cigarettes at a local convenient store, Cup Foods. Employees from that store accused him of using a counterfeit bill and asked for the cigarettes back. The New York Times reported that when the employees did not receive their cigarettes back, they called 911. In the call the employee said, “someone comes to our store and give us fake bills…he is awfully drunk and he’s not in control of himself”.
It can be seen through an adjacent store’s security footage, Officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng soon arrive on the scene and approach Floyd’s vehicle. Lane went to the driver’s side of the vehicle. He pulled his gun and orders Floyd to put his hands on the wheel. Lane pulled Floyd out of the car and puts him in handcuffs. Kueng walked Floyd to a nearby wall. The officers then move him to their vehicle, and Floyd falls to the ground.
Floyd refuses to get in the car, claiming he is claustrophobic. Officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao then arrive on the scene. Chauvin attempts to get Floyd in the cop car. All four officers are around Floyd. Three officers apply pressure to his neck, torso, and legs. Floyd tells the officers he cannot breathe. The officers then send for non-emergency medical help. In a matter of minutes, the officers call again asking for medical help.
As bystanders begin to record, Chauvin keeps his knee on Floyd’s neck for another 7 minutes. Floyd tried to speak, and Chauvin asks, “what do you want.” Floyd responds, “I can’t breathe, please the knee in my neck. I can’t breathe.” Chauvin retorts, “well get up get in the car man.” Floyd, “I will”. Chauvin, “get up get in the car”. Floyd, “I can’t move”.
In less than five minutes, Floyd tells the officers 16 times, “I can’t breathe”.
As Floyd’s eyes close, bystanders tell the Chauvin to “get off of him,” instead Chauvin pulls out pepper spray and the bystanders back away. Lane asks twice if they should move Floyd. Chauvin says no.
The ambulance arrives. Chauvin stays on Floyd’s neck until the EMT’s ask him to move. Floyd is loaded into the ambulance and it leaves. The EMT calls for additional medical help from the fire department. The fire department arrives at the scene. The officers give them no clear instructions of the location of the ambulance.
Floyd then goes into cardiac arrest. It takes the fire department 5 minutes to reach the ambulance and Floyd.
Shortly after, Floyd pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.