What Happened in the Chaotic Moments Before George Floyd Died

George Floyd, black man Murdered by Minnesota cop
Image from @hallowedghosh on Twitter

The George Floyd murder all started from an alleged fake $20 bill story, which resulted in a deadly police encounter that the authorities later mentioned in detail.

One of the cops was a veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, who was moonlighting as a security guard. The other was security in a Salvation Army shop. Meanwhile, he spent some of his nights as a bouncer at nearby clubs.

George Floyd, 46, and the cop currently charged with his murder, Derek Chauvin, 44, served at the same Minneapolis Latin nightclub in the year before their fateful incident. Hence, both were members of the squad responsible for controlling rowdy customers.

Their paths crossed for the final time when Floyd went to a store to get cigarettes. Mr. Floyd was dead within an hour, with his final cries and gasps filmed in a gruesome video.

In an act that has now contributed to demonstrations in cities across the country, Mr. Chauvin knelt on Mr. Floyd behind a police car outside the shop.

The police officer forced his knee against Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. This is according to a criminal complaint filed by the Hennepin County District Attorney on Friday. The cop was looking at the ground while his victim cried that he could not breathe. 


Bystanders raised their cellphones, scorned, and begged for help. But the cop managed to kneel for two minutes and 53 seconds more until Mr. Floyd quit complaining and became lifeless.

The situation has been part of the now-familiar trend of police brutality in recent years, in which African-American people have died in incidents that seemed surprisingly mundane in their origins — Eric Garner, who died after being stopped in New York in 2014 for selling cigarettes without tax stamps; Michael Brown, who died in a police incident in Ferguson, Mo., the same year, walking down the street. 

The genesis of George Floyd death 

Mr. Floyd’s story started with a report of a fake $20 bill that the shop keeper said he was trying to pass on to buy cigarettes.

Gov. Tim Walz called the fatal arrest, and the nights of violent protests that have come after it, “one of our darkest chapters.”

With Mr. Chauvin in detention and officially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, investigators will now seek to understand what transpired in the tense minutes before Mr. Floyd was rushed to the Hennepin County Medical Center and declared dead at 9:25 p.m. 

Witness reports, smartphone, and camera footage and charging documents published on Friday reveal a lot of the tale about how the “forgery-in-progress” arrest happened.

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