Thao, Kueng and Lane responded to a call about a “forgery in process” but did not directly cut off Floyd’s breathing.
Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to announce the Justice Department is opening a sweeping investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis after the guilty verdict in Floyd’s death, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The Justice Department is already investigating whether the officers involved in Floyd’s death violated Floyd’s civil rights. The investigation announced Wednesday is known as a “pattern or practice” and will be a more sweeping probe of the entire department and may result in major changes to policing there, the official said.
Floyd, 46, was arrested on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill for a pack of cigarettes at a corner market. He panicked, pleaded that he was claustrophobic and struggled with police when they tried to put him in a squad car. They put him on the ground instead.
The centerpiece of the case was bystander video of Floyd, handcuffed behind his back, gasping repeatedly, “I can’t breathe,” and onlookers yelling at Chauvin to stop as the officer pressed his knee on or close to Floyd’s neck for what authorities say was about 9 ½ minutes, including several minutes after Floyd’s breathing had stopped and he had no pulse.
Floyd’s death May 25 became a flashpoint in the national conversation about the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement and sparked worldwide protests.