Newly unearthed video appears to show three of the Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd aggressively apprehending an innocent black man three weeks prior to their May 25 encounter with Floyd. Images of Floyd’s killing launched a summer of unrest nationwide.
The Star Tribune has obtained video it says shows officers Derek Chauvin, along with Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng responding to a May 3 call to a Minneapolis apartment building where a woman was allegedly being held hostage by armed men.
It was Chauvin who kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes before the unarmed 46-year-old man stopped breathing while Lane and Keung helped restrain him.
In the footage obtained by the Star Tribune, that same trio of officers is seen taking down a Black man identified as Adrian Drakeford, 27, who was exiting the building they were about to enter. He reportedly had nothing to do with the call to which they were responding, which came from across the hall from his unit. The officers’ visit to the apartment building resulted in no arrests other than that of Drakeford and his brother Terrance, who along with a small crowd, protested the way his sibling was being manhandled.
Officers said Drakeford had a knife, which witnesses on the video can be heard saying wasn’t true. Cops later claimed he had a knife sharpener in his possession.
“I didn’t come out with no knife!” Drakeford told officers on the tape.
A fourth cop, Luis Realivasquez, told witnesses — including Drakeford’s upset girlfriend — that Drakeford had exited the building armed.
“Ya’ll just snatched him up!” said one onlooker.
The video, where witnesses plead with cops to let Drakeford go, is not dissimilar to the footage of those same policemen detaining Floyd. It was recorded by the Drakefords’ other brother, Lee, who fled the scene when officers reportedly tried to arrest him.
Police did not find the 911 caller who reported the alleged hostage situation, nor did they determine her status before hauling away the two Drakeford brothers, according to the Star Tribune.
Terrance was accused of obstructing justice. That charge was dropped. His brother — who reportedly said he was struggling to breathe after police grabbed him from behind and pinned him down — was not charged with anything.
Officers Kueng and Lane, new to the police force then, were still completing their field training when they arrested Drakeford. According to the report, Drakeford had been trying to contact officers throughout the day because he claimed his car had been broken into the previous night.