Video shows cops in Floyd death roughed up innocent man just weeks prior
Three weeks before their deadly encounter with George Floyd, three officers crossed paths with the Drakefords.
A video obtained by The Minneapolis Star-Tribune shows former Minneapolis Police officers Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane and Alex Kueng roughly detaining an innocent Black man last spring.
Adrian Drakeford was leaving his apartment building when officers arrived after a call in which a woman claimed she was being held hostage. Drakeford, 27, had no connection to the call but just happened to be walking out when police arrived. He was tackled to the ground and handcuffed as his brother, Lee, and girlfriend told the authorities they were making a mistake. Lee also started recording the incident with his cell phone.
The Star-Tribune notes that the incident happened on May 3, 2020, just three weeks before the same three police officers crossed paths with George Floyd, and Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, resulting in his death, while a fourth, Tou Thao, held back onlookers. In the Drakeford case, the only difference was a fourth officer named Luis Realivasquez was the one holding people back — and, thankfully, no one ended up dead.
The officers involved in the May 3rd incident later claimed they thought Drakeford was holding a knife; he was eventually released without charges. Another brother of his, Terrence, who arrived at the scene and protested the severe treatment, was arrested and charged with obstructing the legal process. His misdemeanor charge was later dropped.
The report notes that officers wrote that they “assisted” Terrence to the ground — and arrested him because he allegedly used “foul language” in the presence of children nearby.
The police never did locate the woman who was allegedly being held against her will.
“The timeline here is troubling,” Andrew Gordon, the deputy director for community legal services at the nonprofit Legal Rights Center, who represented Terrence Drakeford, told The Star-Tribune. “The same officers are involved in the murder of George Floyd, using some of the same techniques and the need and desire to control people.”
Lane and Keung were not full-time officers during the encounter. It was part of their field training.
Gordon called the incident the last opportunity where Minneapolis police leadership could have done something to check Chauvin’s reckless conduct.