On May 25, police officers in Minneapolis arrested George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, after a convenience store employee called 911 and reported that Mr. Floyd had purchased cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. Mr. Floyd was unconscious and pinned beneath three police officers seventeen minutes after the first squad car arrived, showing no signs of life.
The New York Times meticulously reconstructed the minutes leading up to Mr. Floyd’s death by combining videos from bystanders and security cameras, reviewing official documents, and consulting experts.
Our video shows officers engaging in a series of actions that violated Minneapolis Police Department policies and proved fatal, leaving Mr. Floyd unable to breathe even as onlookers yelled for help.
The Police Department fired all four officers involved in the incident the day after Mr. Floyd died. Derek Chauvin, the officer seen most clearly in witness videos pinning Mr. Floyd to the ground, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on May 29 by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.
According to a Times analysis of timestamped video, Mr. Chauvin, who is white, kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for at least eight minutes and 15 seconds. Mr. Chauvin did not remove his knee even after Mr. Floyd lost consciousness and for a full minute and 20 seconds after paramedics arrived, according to our video investigation.
On June 3, Hennepin County prosecutors upgraded Mr. Chauvin’s charge to second-degree murder and charged each of the three other former officers — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao — with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
On June 18, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office stated that the length of time Mr. Chauvin kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck was incorrect in the criminal complaint.
According to the original complaint, Mr. Chauvin did so for eight minutes and 46 seconds, a time that became a symbol and rallying cry for protesters. In response to journalist inquiries, the office stated that the actual time was seven minutes and 46 seconds, which differed from the durations listed in the complaint.
However, The Times’s analysis of the video reveals that the revised time is also incorrect.
“It makes no difference,” said Jamar Nelson, who works with crime victims’ families in Minneapolis. “The bottom line is that it was long enough to kill him, long enough to put him to death.”
What happened to George Floyd?
Floyd was arrested on suspicion of using a forged $20 bill. While Floyd was handcuffed and lying face-down in the street, Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes. J. and another police officer Chauvin were assisted in restraint by Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane.
What happened to the police after George Floyd’s death?
A federal jury in St. Paul, Minnesota, found three former Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officers guilty of federal civil rights violations stemming from the death of George Perry Floyd Jr. on May 25, 2020, after a nearly five-week trial.