By HALEY YAMADA, ABC News
(MINNEAPOLIS) — Audio recordings of an investigator interview with one of the former Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s death were released Tuesday.
The interview with Thomas Lane was conducted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension shortly after Floyd died on May 25. The audio contains a statement by Lane as to his perspective regarding Floyd’s arrest and eventual death.
“Once [Floyd] kind of stopped fighting us, I think I had said again, ‘I think we should roll him onto his side,” Lane told agents during the interview.
Lane said that he believed former officer Derek Chauvin, who was seen in video footage with his knee on Floyd’s neck, had told him and the other two officers to continue to hold Floyd on the ground and that there was an ambulance on the way.
“That made sense to me, just because I’ve had experiences with people who are [overdosing] and they’ll be out one minute and they’ll come back and really, you know, be aggressive with me,” said Lane in the interview.
“I would say I felt like it maybe could have been handled differently or we should be reassessing what we’re doing,” Lane added.
All four officers involved in Floyd’s death were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department and charged with his death. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Lane, as well as J. Alexander Keung and Tou Thao, have been charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter.
The officers have not yet formally entered pleas. Their trials are scheduled for March 2021.
The release of Lane’s interview audio comes a little over a month after Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, released audio transcripts from Lane and Kueng’s body camera videos, which provided the most detailed account yet of the events that took place as police took Floyd into custody.
The new transcripts were made public as part of Lane’s request to have the case against him dismissed.
Thao’s attorney, Robert Paule, had also filed Thao’s body camera video with the court to support a motion to dismiss criminal charges against him, the Star-Tribune reported on Aug. 13.
Paule had argued in court filings that Thao’s video proved he was focused on crowd control and that he never physically laid hands on Floyd or had a full view of what was happening as the three other officers restrained Floyd on the ground.
Floyd’s death sparked nationwide outcry and massive protests around the world against racial injustice and police brutality. During his arrest, Floyd repeatedly told the officers that he could not breathe and called out for his mother before passing out. He was pronounced dead at a hospital that evening.
Keith Ellison, the Minnesota attorney general, has asked the judge presiding over the officers’ cases to have all four tried jointly. Defense attorneys have until Sept. 8 to respond. The next court hearing for the four is scheduled for Sept. 11.
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