- The video footage was taken by a witness and was sent on social media.
- Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced the firings, saying that, finally, the right step had been taken on the matter.
- Hundreds of protesters gathered in Minneapolis on Tuesday to demand justice for Floyd.
Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired following the death of an African-American, George Floyd. The move came a day after Floyd was killed after being inhumanely treated by the officers. In a horrifying video, a white police officer, since identified as Derek Chauvin, pinned Floyd down with his knee as he lay on the ground during an arrest.
The other officers were identified by police as Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng. The video footage was taken by a witness and was sent on social media. It showed Floyd helpless, asking the police not to kill him. Floyd said several times, “I can’t breathe!”
The officer is then heard telling him to relax he continues to pin him down. “My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts,” Floyd cries out. “[I need] water or something. Please. Please. I can’t breathe, officer. . . I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe.” In the footage witnesses are heard pleading with the police to let go the man but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced the firings, saying that, finally, the right step had been taken on the matter. “This is the right call,” Frey tweeted. He had earlier apologized to the family of Floyd, adding that he did not deserve to die:
“Being Black in America should not be a death sentence. For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a Black man’s neck. Five minutes. This officer failed in the most basic, human sense.”
It is alleged that the police responded to a call of forgery from a grocery store. The police said the he resisted arrest, adding that Floyd was possibly under the influence of drugs. In a press statement the Minneapolis police said that he died shortly after a “medical incident.”
“Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress,” the statement said. “Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.”
Hundreds of protesters gathered in Minneapolis on Tuesday to demand justice for the African-American. The protestors carried placards, and were calling for the prosecution of the police officers involved. A group of riders from Vital Kings, a black motorcyclist, club joined the protesters making an ear splitting noise through revving their engines over and over.
Most of the protesters wore face masks, so as to protect themselves against the coronavirus. They had a confrontation with the police, who fired tear gas and non-lethal bean bags at the crowds, who in turn hurled water bottles at them.
The Police Chief, Medaria Arradondo, called on citizens to be calm, adding that the department will conduct an internal investigation into the matter. The investigation will determine the real motive of the officers, and also ascertain if the death occurred in the course of their duty. The FBI and state law enforcement are also currently investigating the case.
Floyd’s case is similar to Eric Garner’s, a black man who was unarmed and was killed in 2014 in New York. Garner was placed in a police chokehold, and pleaded for his life. Garner uttered the same phrase as Floyd: “I can’t breathe.” The police officer involved in Garner’s case was fired after the investigations were completed.