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Court, sheriff investigate unauthorized release of George Floyd body camera video

Footage posted by The Daily Mail showed police body camera footage that's currently only authorized for in-person viewing at the courthouse.
Credit: KARE

MINNEAPOLIS — Hennepin County District Court is working with the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office to investigate how body camera footage from the George Floyd case was obtained by The Daily Mail.

The court has not yet authorized the video for public release.

The London-based news organization posted footage from two video exhibits filed in the case of the State vs. Thomas Kiernan Lane, according to the court. The videos on the Daily Mail website included more than eight minutes of footage from then-officer Lane's body camera, and more than 18 minutes of footage from another body camera worn by then-officer J. Alexander Kueng.

"Judge Peter Cahill has not issued an order regarding the media coalition’s motion to obtain copies of the Kueng and Lane body worn camera videos submitted in ... State vs. Thomas Kiernan Lane," a court spokesperson said in a statement. "Currently the only way to view these video exhibits is in-person at the courthouse."

Last month, the court approved journalists and members of the public to view the body camera footage by appointment, including KARE 11's Lou Raguse

RELATED: Body cam videos detail officers' actions in George Floyd case

According to Raguse, those viewing the footage were not allowed to make copies of the video. Raguse said that deputies were walking around the viewing area as authorized members of the public viewed the footage.

Raguse reported the body camera footage showed the initial encounter between George Floyd and then-officers Lane and Kueng in late May. The footage goes on to show Floyd's arrest and the arrival of then-officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao on the scene, as well as Chauvin's use of a knee restraint on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes.

Chauvin is now charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Lane, Kueng and Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Floyd family attorney Ben Crump released a statement after the unauthorized video was posted online.

"The more video evidence you see, the more unjustifiable George Floyd's torture and death at the hands of the police becomes," Crump said. "Although the allegation against George was for a non-violent offense involving a $20 bill, the police officers approached him with guns drawn, simply because he was a Black man. As this video shows, he never posed any threat. The officers' contradictions continue to build. If not for the videos, the world might never have known about the wrongs committed against George Floyd."