Authorities on Thursday released a transcript of the 911 call that led to George Floyd’s fatal encounter with police.
The death of the 46-year-old Floyd, an unarmed black man who was pinned to the pavement by a white officer begging to breathe until he went motionless and later died, has led to a cascade of events ranging from four police officers being fired, two days so far of often violent unrest in various parts of Minneapolis and St. Paul as well as global news media attention focusing on the latest instance of police being implicated in the death of a person of color.
A 911 operator received the call at 8:01 p.m. from a clerk at Cup Foods at the corner of 38th Street and S. Chicago Avenue about a man, later determined to be Floyd, who bought cigarettes with fake money.
According to the transcript:
The caller from in the store reported that “we realize it before he left the store, and we ran back outside, [where] they was sitting on their car.”
The operator was also told that “he is awfully drunk, and he’s not in control of himself.”
The operator then summed up the situation with the caller.
“So, this guy gave a counterfeit bill, has your cigarettes, and he’s under the influence of something?”
The caller responded, “Something like that, yes. He is not acting right.”
After obtaining a physical description of Floyd and a vehicle associated with him, the operator said, “All right, I’ve got help on the way. If that vehicle or that person leaves before we get there, just give us a call back, otherwise we’ll have squads out there shortly, OK?”
“No problem,” the caller replied as the exchange ended.
Police arrived and detained a handcuffed Floyd on the pavement as he begged to be allowed to breathe. Medics arrived and took Floyd to HCMC. He was unresponsive and lacking a pulse when he arrived.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said in a statement the next day that Floyd was declared dead at 9:25 p.m. Monday, but cause and manner behind his death remain undetermined “pending further testing and investigation.”