Judge rules MPD body camera footage of George Floyd’s 2019 arrest may be made public – WCCO
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The judge in the George Floyd case allows the public to view video of a 2019 incident involving Floyd and Minneapolis Police. Judge Peter Cahill said he didn’t think it would taint a potential jury.
Attorney for sacked Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane wanted the public to see the video. And the prosecution wanted to prevent it from becoming public. Three body camera videos have been posted that show different perspectives.
All show Floyd with officers in Minneapolis on May 6, 2019. He is a passenger at an unlicensed stop and he does not comply with the officers’ initial requests.
“Put your hands on the dashboard. I’m not going to shoot you, put your hands on the dashboard, ”said an officer, drawing a gun. “Put your hands on the dash the last time I tell you. It’s simple.”
Floyd does so and another officer approaches.
“Open your mouth. Spit out what you’ve got. I’ll put you down,” said one officer.
Floyd is out of the vehicle and officers put their hands behind his back and handcuffed him.
“You are not going to get beaten up or anything if you just follow what we ask you to do,” said one officer.
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As the agents search Floyd, you can faintly hear him asking for his “mom.” He implores the officers because they say he found a pile of pills.
“Look how crazy he is. Look at him, he cries like a grown man too, ”said one officer.
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Less than four and a half minutes after the officers approach the vehicle, Floyd is in the back of a squad.
Thomas Lane’s attorney Earl Gray stopped to speak to the media after hearing and was confronted by a man who describes himself as a community activist pic.twitter.com/oTcyx3oP05
– Jennifer Mayerle (@jennifermayerle) October 15, 2020
Lane’s attorney Earl Gray tells WCCO why he thinks this should not only be made public, but also admitted into evidence in the case.
“It shows a false narrative of the state,” Gray said. “The State describes Mr. Floyd as someone he isn’t, and if you see the 2019 video and compare them, they’re almost identical.”
Gray says Floyd’s behavior in the pictures shows his modus operandi. Rachel Moran, associate professor at St. Thomas School of Law, says that’s a bit of a stretch, as the modus operandi is typically designated for distinctive intentional conduct displayed multiple times.
“The fact that Mr. Floyd was scared in two different arrests is not necessarily relevant,” Moran said. “One would assume that what the defense is trying to do is just muddle Mr. Floyd’s character, and I imagine that’s how the state will respond to it. It is simply an effort to bring public opinion back to the side of the police.
Moran says Judge Cahill acted safely in making the video available to the public, and his decision was not surprising.
Prosecutors argued the video would unfairly sway public opinion, adding to the pressure to move the trial out of Minneapolis.
Prosecutors also wanted a two-day seal on all submissions in the case so both sides had time to object. Justice Cahill dismissed this request.