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Transcripts Show George Floyd Told Cops He Couldn't Breathe More Than 20 Times: "I'll Probably Just Die This Way"

"Tell my kids I love them. I'm dead."

Posted on July 8, 2020, at 7:08 p.m. ET

John Minchillo / AP

People demonstrate outside the burning Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct building, May 28.

George Floyd told Minneapolis police officers he couldn't breathe more than 20 times before they noticed he had passed out, according to new transcripts of body camera footage filed in court.

"I'm scared as fuck, man," Floyd told the officers as they restrained him. "Tell my kids I love them. I'm dead."

Video footage of police pinning Floyd to the ground in a knee chokehold, ultimately killing the 46-year-old Black man, caused widespread outrage and sparked weeks of protests across the country. Transcripts of body camera footage show that Floyd had told officers at least 27 times that he couldn't breathe before passing out and dying.

"I can't breathe for nothing, man," Floyd told officers. "This is cold-blooded, man. Ah-ah!"

Despite Floyd's pleas, officer Derek Chauvin continued to hold Floyd down with his knee on his neck.

"Then stop talking. Stop yelling," he told Floyd, according to the transcript. "It takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk."

Floyd continued to plead with officers to let him breathe until passing out.

"I can't breathe. I can't breathe," Floyd said. "I'll probably just die this way."

The transcripts were filed as part of a motion by former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane to have the charges against him dropped.

Four former police officers have been charged in Floyd's death, including Chauvin, Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao.

Lane, Kueng, and Thao face two charges of aiding and abetting Chauvin in connection to Floyd's death. Chauvin is facing second-degree murder charges.

In the motion looking to have charges against Lane dropped, attorneys argue he was a new officer on the force and following the cues from Chauvin.

From left: Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao.
Hennepin County Sheriff's Office via AP

From left: Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao.

Although Chauvin was not Lane's field training officer, he was one in Lane's precinct and had provided the officer with instructions on how to deal with other calls.

Attorneys point out that Lane had called for paramedics and, while holding on to Floyd's legs, asked, "Should we roll him on his side?"

"No, he's staying put where we got him," Chauvin responded.

When Floyd passed out, video and transcripts from the incident show, bystanders had started to point out to police that the 46-year-old was not responsive, but Chauvin continued to pin his neck to the ground.

However, after the incident, Chauvin did check on his colleagues.

"You guys alright, though?" he asked the officers after Floyd was no longer moving.

"Yeah," Lane responded. "I mean, my knee might be a little scratched, but I'll survive."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.