When alerted to the officer’s troubling behavior, the supervisor responded that the officers did not tell him anything and that he would “find out” what was happening. BuzzFeed News noted that the Minneapolis Police Department’s policy requires officers to notify supervisors when force is being used outside of standard “takedown techniques,” or methods to bring a person to the ground during an arrest.
According to department records, the supervisor arrived at the scene 14 minutes after his conversation with the dispatcher and about 37 minutes after officers first encountered Floyd, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. John Elder, a spokesman for the department, told the Tribune he could not comment on the recording. However, he noted that the city relies on a network of 250 to 300 cameras to help monitor crime.
In addition to the 911 dispatcher’s audio, the city also released transcripts of two 911 calls from bystanders near the incident, including one from an off-duty firefighter.
“Hello, I am on the block of 38th and Chicago and I literally watched police officers not take a pulse and not do anything to save a man, and I am a first responder myself, and I literally have it on video camera,” the unidentified firefighter said, according to the transcript. “I just happened to be on a walk so, this dude, this, they fucking killed him.” According to the transcript, the firefighter asked to speak with a supervisor but was unable to, as the line disconnected.
In the second transcript, the caller says they are unsure if Floyd is dead but notes that he was unresponsive when the ambulance arrived. “We just watched Officer #987 kill a, ah…a citizen in front of a Chicago ah…store,” the caller said, according to the transcript. “He just pretty much just killed this guy that wasn’t resisting arrest. He had his knee on the dude’s neck the whole time.”
All four officers involved in Floyd’s arrest were fired. While Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, his fellow officers Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Police brutality and racial injustice must end. These newly released recordings further highlight the injustices Black folks face at the hands of the police and the criminal justice system. Floyd’s death resulted from an arrest based on the alleged use of a counterfeit $20 bill. It’s doubtful that a member of any other race would face such consequences for the same action.