STATEMENT OF PROBABLE CAUSE for the warrant for the arrest of Officer Derek Chauvin, Minneapolis Police Department 5/29/2020

On May 25, 2020, someone called 911 and reported that a man bought merchandise from Cup Foods at 3759 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota with a counterfeit $20 bill. At 8:08 p.m., Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) Officers Thomas Lane and J.A. Kueng arrived with their body worn cameras (BWCs) activated and running. The officers learned from store personnel that the man who passed the counterfeit $20 was parked in a car around the corner from the store on 38th Street.

BWC video obtained by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension shows that the officers approached the car, Lane on the driver’s side and Kueng on the passenger side. Three people were in the car; George Floyd was in the driver’s seat, a known adult male was in the passenger seat and a known adult female was sitting in the backseat. As Officer Lane began speaking with Mr. Floyd, he pulled his gun out and pointed it at Mr. Floyd’s open window and directed Mr. Floyd to show his hands. When Mr. Floyd put his hands in the steering wheel, Lane put his gun back in its holster.

While Officer Kueng was speaking with the front seat passenger, Officer Lane ordered Mr. Floyd out of the car, put his hands on Mr. Floyd, and pulled him out of the car. Officer Lane handcuffed Mr. Floyd. Mr. Floyd actively resisted being handcuffed.
Once handcuffed, Mr. Floyd became compliant and walked with Officer Lane to the sidewalk and sat on the ground at Officer Lane’s direction. In a conversation that lasted just under two minutes, Officer Lang asked Mr. Floyd for his name and identification. Officer Lane asked Mr. Lloyd if he was “on anything” and explained that he was arresting Mr. Lloyd for passing counterfeit currency.

Officers Kueng and Lane stood Mr. Floyd up and attempted to walk Mr. Floyd to their squad car (MPD 320) at 8:14 p.m. Mr. Floyd stiffened up, fell to the ground, and told the officers he was claustrophobic.

MPD Officers Derek Chauvin (the defendant) and Tou Thoa then arrived in a separate squad car.

The officers made several attempts to get Mr. Floyd in the backseat of squad 320 from the driver’s side. Mr. Floyd did not voluntarily get in the car and struggled with the officers by intentionally falling down, saying he was not going in the car, and refusing to stand still. Mr. Floyd is over six feet tall and weighs more than 200 pounds.

While standing outside the car, Mr. Floyd began saying and repeating that he could not breathe. The defendant went to the passenger side and tried to get Mr. Floyd into the car from that side and Lane and Kueng assisted.

The defendant pulled Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side of the squad car at 8:19:38 p.m. and Mr. Floyd went to the ground face down and still handcuffed. Kueng held Mr. Floyd’s back and Lane held his legs. The defendant placed his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck. Mr. Floyd said, “I can’t breathe” multiple times and repeatedly said, “Mama” and “please,” as well. The defendant and the other two officers stayed in their positions.

The officers said, “You are talking fine” to Mr. Floyd as he continued to move back and forth. Lane asked, “should we roll him on his side?” and the defendant said, “No, staying put where we got him.” Officer Lane said, “I am worried about excited delirium or whatever.” The defendant said, “That’s why we have him on his stomach.” None of the three officers moved from their positions.

BWC video shows Mr. Floyd continue to move and breathe. At 8:24:24, Mr. Floyd stopped moving. At 8:25:31 the video appears to show Mr. Floyd ceasing to breathe or speak. Lane said, “want to roll him on his side.” Kueng checked Mr. Floyd’s right wrist for a pulse and said, “I couldn’t find one.” None of the officers moved from their positions.

At 8:27:24, the defendant removed his knee from Mr. Floyd’s neck. An ambulance and emergency medical personnel arrived, the officers placed Mr. Floyd on a gurney, and the ambulance left the scene. Mr. Floyd was pronounced dead at Hennepin County Medical Center.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner (ME) conducted Mr. Floyd’s autopsy on May 26, 2020. The full report of the ME is pending but the ME has made the following preliminary findings. The autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.

The defendant had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total. Two minutes and 53 seconds of this was after Mr. Floyd was non-responsive. Police are trained that this type of restraint with a subject in a prone position is inherently dangerous.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Other than not checking on him when he finally became compliant (that means still and quiet,) it looks like the police did everything within reasonable use of force.

    In regards to “I can’t breathe,” the officer was right in that if the suspect couldn’t breathe, then he wouldn’t be able to talk.

    Seriously, this is at the most unintentional manslaughter at worst.

    But someone must be sacrificed unto the altar of “Mu Diversity.” And that sucks.

    All of this, rioting across the country, obviously uninvolved businesses destroyed or vandalized and looted, smacks of a political ploy by desperate forces on the left rather than any actual protest against police brutality.

    Anyways, by stepping past protest into looting and arson, the ‘protestors’ have lost all validity. And now in LA the rioters have rented small construction equipment to make rioting even more easy.

    Only one answer, well, two. Ballistic lead and cold steel.

    • The prosecutors are set to over-charge the case and then have the officer acquitted. The feds are beating a big drum for a Federal Civil Rights violation but some of the officers involved were also minorities. The vandals and looters are not protesting Floyd, they’re taking home new clothes and flat screen TV’s and Air Jordan shoes. And that’s just how it is.

      The National Guard can be used to shut it down, but those firearms should be loaded.

  2. A retired LEO cousin, who I admire as a Peace Officer, put this on Facebook.

    You see “black man murdered by white cop”
    I see “innocent man murdered by corrupt cop”
    we’re not the same.

    • Franklin Graham has stated on his faceless book page that Mr. Floyd shared the gospel of Jesus Christ in Houston’s Third Ward. I’ve read elsewhere that Mr. Floyd and Mr. Chauvin apparently knew each other from working at the same night club in different capacities.
      And all this for one counterfeit bill.
      Hubby and I got a counterfeit bill from a bank ATM once. Didn’t know it until the magic pen went over it in a store. Glad no one called the police on us!
      Just seems like we don’t have the whole story, even with the police came videos.

      • You know, if Floyd would have said, “I didn’t know that it was counterfeit,” and would have gone with the police officers to be interviewed on the matter, he’d still be alive.

        Normally what happens in these cases is that the police question the person, take the counterfeit note and book it as an assist-other-department: Secret Service and that’s that. What we don’t know and what we won’t know because the officers were immediately fired is any possible back story to why things went the way that they did. Maybe in trial in three or four years?

    • WSF, I didn’t see a murder. (homicide with malice). I saw an involuntary homicide that was very callus in its nature. I saw a situation that was handled very badly. Based on the post mortem, I saw a man who was arrested die not of asphyxiation or strangulation. The officers did the wrong thing and they’ll pay for it unless the government screws up the prosecution, which I feel to be very likely.

      As tempting as it is to give in to or to identify with the plight of George Floyd, everyone including the officers are subject to the law. Ethically, why didn’t the officers present intervene and pull the people sitting on Floyd back. There is a cultural problem where that doesn’t happen – a big ethical problem.

      And if Floyd had been white, would there have been any outrage at all?

  3. I’ve seen that FB post and take issue with it.

    Mr. Floyd was a known criminal, with a record and a felony conviction, who was being arrested for passing counterfeit currency. Yes, we’re all supposed to be “innocent until proven guilty”, and I despise corrupt cops as much as anyone, but the implication in that post is that the decedant was lily white, and he obviously wasn’t.

    Looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…….etc.

    And the cop appears to have quite a record of complaints himself.

    Nobody’s “clean” in this event, and it needs to be seriously investigated.

    I won’t even go into the “protesting” going on…..

    • MPD Officer Derek Chauvin (the defendant now), had a lot of sustained complaints. That will clearly be a part of the investigation at this point. His conduct was unbecoming and the result was an involuntary manslaughter. Tonight, he’s in custody somewhere in Minnesota, or across the border outside St. Paul. It all needs to be impartially investigated, but that’s not going to happen while the inner city people burn the place down.

  4. Thanks for this post — first time I’ve seen the statement.

    My feeling, and it’s just a feeling, is that Floyd and Derek had some outstanding business and that St. Floyd had something up his nose. Maybe we’ll find out, but the damage is done.

    In the meanwhile, it looks like Antifa’s getting a well deserved terrorist designation. Not before time. Burn that black hoodie, boys, and hide in your parent’s basement.

    • Domestic organizations shouldn’t be designated as terrorist. If Biden were to take office under that scenario, all conservative bloggers would bd so labeled.

  5. They arrested the cop that had his knee on the guy’s neck in less than a week. How long did it take to arrest the muslim cop who shot the woman that called the cops in Minneapolis?

    That is a screwed up town.

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