A 911 Dispatcher Reported Concerns About Minneapolis Police Officers’ Actions As They Restrained George Floyd

New audio reveals the city employee called in a police supervisor as officers were using what would prove to be deadly force.

A 911 dispatcher who was watching live footage of George Floyd's arrest reported concerns about what would prove to be deadly actions by the Minneapolis police officers, telling a supervisor "you can call me a snitch," according to an audio recording released by the police department Monday.

During the call, which lasted just under a minute, the unidentified dispatcher said they weren't sure if the officers had used force, but they wanted to make the supervisor aware of the situation.

"You can call me a snitch if you want to, but we have the cameras up for [squad car] 320’s call," the dispatcher said. "I don't know if they had to use force or not. They got something out of the back of the squad, and all of them sat on this man, so I don't know if they needed to or not, but they haven't said anything to me yet."

Department policy requires officers to notify a supervisor when force is used with some exceptions, such as "takedown techniques" — a basic method of bringing a person to the ground to keep them under control. But under department rules, in other uses of force, a supervisor should go to the scene to review the incident.

The supervisor, who was also not identified, responded to the dispatcher that the officers hadn't said anything to him: "Just a takedown, which doesn't count," he said, adding that he'd "find out" what was going on.

"No problem," the dispatcher said. "We don’t get to ever see it, so when we see it we’re just like, wuh, uh — well, that looks a little different."

But despite the dispatcher's call, which was placed around 8:30 p.m. local time, it took 14 minutes for a supervisor to arrive on scene, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported, citing department records.

Floyd, whose killing in police custody has sparked global protests against police brutality and widespread calls to defund law enforcement, died May 25 after Minneapolis police officers pinned him to the ground and held him in a knee chokehold for more than eight minutes as he cried that he couldn't breathe.

All four officers who were involved have since been fired and arrested and are currently facing charges of second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Minneapolis police spokesperson John Elder declined to answer BuzzFeed News' questions about how the dispatcher was watching the arrest, but the city relies on a network of security cameras to monitor and resolve incidents with neighboring municipalities.

The recording was released along with transcripts of two 911 calls from bystanders placed moments later.

"We just watched Officer #987 kill a, ah…a citizen in front of a Chicago ah…store," one caller said, according to the transcript. "He just pretty much just killed this guy that wasn’t resisting arrest."

The caller said they weren't sure if Floyd was dead but said he was unresponsive when the paramedics arrived. A second caller who identified themself as an off-duty first responder said the officers didn't make any attempts to save Floyd's life.

"I literally watched police officers not take a pulse and not do anything to save a man," they said. "I just happened to be on a walk so this dude, this, they fucking killed him."

Topics in this article

Skip to footer