Three Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd’s death were filmed during the aggressive arrest of an innocent Black man weeks before Floyd was killed.
Three weeks before police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into George Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes, killing him, he and other officers involved in Floyd’s death were filmed wrongfully detaining another unarmed Black man, according to newly released video of the obtained by the Star Tribune.
The video stems from a May 3 encounter at a south side Minneapolis apartment building where a woman was reportedly being held hostage at knifepoint.
Officers apprehended Adrian Drakeford, a building resident, outside the apartment complex, by mistake, the newspaper reported.
“I didn’t come out with no knife!” Drakeford, handcuffed and pressed against a police cruiser, shouted at officers.
“Ya’ll just snatched him up!” said a bystander.
Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — two other officers accused in George Floyd’s death — placed handcuffs on Drakeford while Chauvin watched quietly, according to the Star Tribune. Officer Luis Realivasquez was also identified as the fourth officer present.
Drakeford had previously phoned authorities that day regarding concerns his car had been broken into a night earlier, the StarTribune reported.
“He been calling for your help all day,” his brother, Lee Drakeford, who filmed the incident, pleaded with police off camera.
Realivasquez later appears to shake a can of chemical irritant and threaten Drakeford’s brother for filming him.
“Back up!” Realivasquez shouted at the camera.
Police ultimately released Drakeford after confirming he had indeed called 911 to report an unrelated crime. He wasn’t charged. The 27-year-old man lives across the hall from the suite where the hostage call allegedly originated from. The caller who reported the hostage crisis was reportedly never identified.
Drakeford’s other brother was also taken to the ground by police and hauled off in handcuffs, according to the Star Tribune. Terrance Drakeford was taken into custody after he protested his sibling’s arrest and used “foul language,” an arrest report stated. He also asked Chauvin and other officers if they’d arrived to “kill more Black people."
"They took me to jail and they didn't even investigate the guy they were there for," Terrance Drakeford said.
Terrance Drakeford was the only individual charged in the incident. The Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office dropped the charges on May 12.
The excessive force police used in the video bears some alarming parallels to Floyd's deadly arrest on May 25, 2020, which sparked mass protests across the U.S. and around the world.
“This man was lucky enough to escape these hostile and violent officers with his life. We only wish the same was true for George Floyd,” the attorney’s for Floyd’s family, Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci said in a statement. “This footage further confirms that there was a dangerous pattern and practice present in the Minneapolis Police Department, and certainly with these officers, that led them to repeatedly and roughly control and restrain Black citizens without regard for their safety. This man was later proven innocent, but as we see too often, he was presumed guilty and treated like a criminal.”
Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder in Floyd’s death. The disgraced police officer was released in October after posting a $1 million bail. Prosecutors have since asked the court to reinstate Chauvin’s third degree murder charge, which would be in addition to the second-degree charge, following a new precedent set by a ruling in a separate case, KSTP-TV reported.
Three other officers — Lane, Keung, and Tou Thao — were also charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder in Floyd’s death. All four were terminated by the Minneapolis Police Department.
Floyd’s family is also suing Chauvin and the other officers involved in the 46-year-old’s death.
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