- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Nobody believes George Floyd deserved to die with an officer’s knee on his neck, but newly posted police body-camera footage has complicated the narrative by showing that he resisted police throughout the ill-fated arrest in Minneapolis.

In the video, posted Monday after being leaked to the [U.K.] Daily Mail, the officers struggle with the agitated Floyd as he resists their commands to put his hands on the steering wheel, exit his vehicle, walk, stand, and sit in the squad car.

The Daily Mail reported that the video “shows how belligerent cops cursed at and manhandled the sobbing suspect, ignoring his pleas for compassion,” but others said that it revealed that officers acted appropriately under difficult circumstances until the end, when Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck.

Fox Sports host Jason Whitlock said that “the behavior of the police officers seems appropriate and restrained given Floyd’s level of resistance and bizarre conduct.”

“The video does not justify officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes,” said Mr. Whitlock in a Tuesday op-ed for OutKick. “But it does offer context why Chauvin would be reluctant to believe Floyd’s ‘I can’t breathe’ cries. Nearly every word out of Floyd’s mouth was a desperate lie.”

The footage came from the body cameras worn during the May 25 arrest by Minneapolis Officers Thomas Lane and Alex Keung. All four officers at the scene were fired and have been charged in Floyd’s death.

The hard-to-watch footage of Floyd’s death as he lay face-down on the ground sparked mass Black Lives Matter protests and rioting, as well as widespread allegations of police racism, given that Floyd was Black and three of the officers are White.

But Mr. Whitlock said the newly released video shows the case “is not a race crime. No rational person can watch that footage and conclude the police were motivated by Floyd’s black race.”

When he first encountered the 46-year-old Floyd sitting in the driver’s seat of the car, one officer drew his weapon, pointing it at Floyd, and then holstered it after Floyd agreed to put his hands on the steering wheel.

“Officer, please don’t shoot me. Please, man,” Floyd says. The officer replies, “I’m not going to shoot you.”

Floyd family attorney Ben Crump argued that the video only strengthened the case against the officers, saying that they “approached him with guns drawn, simply because he was a Black man.”

“As this video shows, he never posed any threat,” said Mr. Crump in a statement. “The officers’ contradictions continue to build.”

In the video, Floyd told police, “I just lost my mom, man,” although his mother, Larcenia “Cissy” Floyd, died two years earlier in May 2018. He said “I can’t breathe” and that he was “going to die” several times before he fell out of the squad car onto the street as he fought officers’ efforts to place him in the back seat.

“When Floyd was on the ground saying he was going to die, it was no different from what he was saying while he was standing, or what he was saying in the car,” said the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh in a Tuesday op-ed. “These facts may not be exculpatory but they certainly are relevant.”

Floyd was handcuffed but resisted entering the police vehicle, saying he was claustrophobic, even though he had just been sitting in the driver’s seat of a car with two companions outside the Cup Foods, where he allegedly passed a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes.

When police ask one of his companions what’s wrong with him, she twirls her finger beside her head in a “crazy” gesture. One bystander tells Floyd to stop “resisting.”

Later, as Floyd lay motionless under Officer Chauvin, bystanders urged police to stop and take his pulse. Officer Lane asks if they should “roll him on his side,” but Officer Chavin says, “No, he’s staying where we’ve got him.”

Office Lane replies, “I just worry about the excited delirium or whatever,” to which Officer Chauvin says, “Well, that’s why we got the ambulance coming.”

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner ruled that Floyd died of “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” calling it a “homicide,” while an independent autopsy hired by the family said his death was the result of “asphyxiation from sustained pressure.”

The autopsy toxicology report revealed Floyd had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system when he died. He also tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

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