What Minneapolis Police First Said About George Floyd Vs. What The Jury Found Derek Chauvin Did
After Floyd was murdered, Minneapolis police first said he had died after a "medical incident during police interaction." On Tuesday, a jury instead found he'd been murdered.
In the hours after George Floyd was murdered on May 25 last year, Minneapolis police made their first comments about his death.
The announcement did not mention former officer Derek Chauvin placing his knee on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes.
It did not mention the fact that this use of force went against department training.
It did not mention Floyd gasping for air and telling the officers he couldn't breathe.
It did not mention that as Floyd was squeezed between the weight of Chauvin's knee and the street's asphalt, he tried everything he could — using even his fingers, knuckles, and shoulder muscles — to take in oxygen.
It did not mention that in his final moments, Floyd called out for his mother — his “mama” — who had died two years earlier.
Instead, the brief announcement of 201 words said only that a man had died "after" a "medical incident during police interaction" and stressed that police had not used any weapons.
"Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress," read the police statement. "Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later."
But on Tuesday, 12 jury members found that was not what occurred.
Instead, they found Chauvin guilty of the second-degree murder of Floyd. They found that Chauvin had killed Floyd unintentionally while in the process of assaulting him.
They found Chauvin guilty of third-degree murder, meaning he had killed Floyd while acting extremely dangerously, without regard to human life and while “evincing a depraved mind.”
And they found Chauvin guilty of second-degree manslaughter, meaning he had knowingly risked Floyd's death because of his "culpable negligence."
In the wake of the verdict, and a national debate in media about how much credence to give police statements regarding deaths in custody or during arrest attempts, several viral tweets highlighted the sheer contrast between the first official account of Floyd's death, the bystander video that soon emerged, and the jury's eventual determination that he'd been murdered.
Read the original Minneapolis police statement here:
"Man Dies After Medical Incident During Police Interaction"
May 25, 2020 (MINNEAPOLIS) On Monday evening, shortly after 8:00 pm, officers from the Minneapolis Police Department responded to the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South on a report of a forgery in progress. Officers were advised that the suspect was sitting on top of a blue car and appeared to be under the influence.
Two officers arrived and located the suspect, a male believed to be in his 40s, in his car. He was ordered to step from his car. After he got out, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.
At no time were weapons of any type used by anyone involved in this incident.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has been called in to investigate this incident at the request of the Minneapolis Police Department.
No officers were injured in the incident.
Body worn cameras were on and activated during this incident.
And read BuzzFeed News' coverage of the Chauvin murder verdict here.