A rookie Minneapolis police officer pointed a gun at George Floyd’s head after confronting him over a fake $20 he was accused of using in a convenience store, according to leaked bodycam footage that had only been viewed inside a courtroom.
“Please don’t shoot me,” Floyd responded, holding his hands in the air, then placing them on the steering wheel as ordered to do so.
Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane, who was on his fourth day on the job, did not shoot him but pulled him out of the driver’s seat as Floyd wept and pleaded. Within minutes, Floyd would be dead after a veteran police officer, Derek Chauvin, planted his knee on his neck for more than eight minutes in an incident caught on video that shocked the world on May 25. Public outrage led to the cops losing their jobs and facing murder charges.
Last month, Judge Peter Cahill issued a gag order forbidding attorneys to talk to the media. The judge also forbade the publication of the videos even though he allowed it to be viewed in the courtroom or by appointment only. He also allowed the transcripts to be published.
According to the Free Press in Minnesota:
Media organizations, including the Star Tribune, Minnesota Public Radio News and The New York Times have challenged the judge’s restrictions, referencing the law and the need for openness in one of the biggest criminal cases in the country. The Floyd killing has stoked protests against racial injustice across the globe.
The video was filed as part of a motion by attorney Earl Gray who is representing officer Thomas Lane. Gray asked that charges against Lane be dismissed citing evidence supporting such a case from the video.
Judge Cahill has argued that the more people see evidence and videos in the case, the more difficult it will be to find an impartial jury pool that hasn’t been “tainted” by publicity. Cahill also has issued a “gag order” restricting lawyers, prosecutors and others involved in the case from speaking to the press.
He has since lifted the gag order but has made no move to reverse his decision on the videos. The videos were leaked to the Daily Mail and can be viewed here and here. The shorter of the two videos is posted above.