Transcript of George Floyd death shows he said he was dying, officers said he was fine because he could speak

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin told George Floyd that his pleas for help took "a heck of a lot of oxygen" as the officer knelt on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes, newly released transcripts show.

The transcripts, obtained by The Washington Post, come from the body camera footage of J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, two of the officers charged in connection with Floyd's death, and reveal more details about what happened between police making contact with Floyd and Floyd being pronounced dead in the back of an ambulance.

The transcripts show that Floyd was attempting to cooperate with police but seemed to be viscerally afraid of the officers.


According to the transcripts, Kueng sat Floyd, a Black man, down on the sidewalk and told him that he was being detained under suspicion of trying to use fake U.S. currency, The Washington Post reported.

Police had originally responded to reports of the use of a fake $20 bill. When Kueng and Lane arrived on the scene, they found Floyd in a car. Transcripts show that Lane asked Floyd to show him his hands, eventually drawing his gun when Floyd didn't respond.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Floyd said, per the transcript. “I didn’t do nothing. ... What did I do though? What did we do, Mr. Officer?” 

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. God dang man. Man, I got shot. I got shot the same way, Mr. Officer, before,” Floyd said to Lane after Lane asked Floyd to step out of the car. “Mr. Officer, please don’t shoot me. Please man.”

Lane reportedly asked Shawanda Renee Hill, a witness inside the car, why Floyd was acting strangely.

“I have no clue, because he’s been shot before,” Hill said. "He got a thing going on, I’m telling you, about the police. He have problems all the time when they come, especially when that man put that gun like that.”

Talking to Kueng on the sidewalk, Floyd told the officer that he "didn’t know what was going on" when the officers first approached him.


When officers tried to put Floyd into the squad car, he resisted, saying that he was “claustrophobic” and had “anxiety.” He also said that he had just had COVID-19.

Eventually, Floyd was placed on the ground, and Chauvin, who is white, proceeded to kneel on Floyd's neck.

After Chauvin, the senior officer on the scene, told Floyd that he was under arrest, Floyd reportedly said, "Oh my god. I can’t believe this. I can’t believe this. Mama, I love you. ... Tell my kids I love them. I’m dead.”

Floyd then complained of his neck hurting.

“Uh huh,” Chauvin answered. “You’re doing a lot of talking, a lot of yelling.”

“Takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to say that,” Chauvin said at one point.

According to the transcripts, Lane asked Chauvin if Floyd should be moved from the position he's in, but Chauvin declined.

“No, leave him,” Chauvin said. “Staying put where we got him.”

Soon after, Lane told Chauvin that he believed Floyd was unconscious. When Keung checked Floyd for a pulse, he said that he couldn't find one.
Still, Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck until an ambulance arrived, with video showing that he moved only after being told to do so by a paramedic.
A medic informed Lane later that Floyd had "crashed" in the ambulance.
An autopsy done by Hennepin County found that Floyd had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death but said that the cause of death was "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression," not drugs.
All four former officers involved in Floyd's death have been charged. Last month, a Hennepin County judge set a tentative start date of March 8 for trial.
Floyd's death sparked outrage nationwide and has led to continuous protests for more than a month, with protesters demanding an end to police brutality and systemic racism in the U.S.