- “Our efforts at incremental reform have failed. Period.”
- The community activists criticized the Minneapolis police department for racism and a brutal culture, adding that it resists change.
- A number of instances of racism and police brutality have been documented since the protests began.
Nine members of the Minneapolis City Council said Sunday afternoon that they support disbanding the city’s police department. The nine members attended a rally in a city park, and vowed take the action. Council President Lisa Bender said that the police systems were not keeping the communities safe.
“Our commitment is to end our city’s toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department, to end policing as we know it, and to re-create systems of public safety that actually keep us safe,” Bender said. She added, “Our efforts at incremental reform have failed. Period.”
In a horrifying video, Chauvin pinned Floyd down with his knee as he lay on the ground during an arrest. 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.
All four Minneapolis police officers were fired on May 26, following a video on Floyd’s last moments that went viral. Chauvin, who had Floyd pinned down on his knee, faces second degree murder and second degree manslaughter. The other three— Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao— face the charges of aiding and abetting second degree manslaughter with culpable negligence.
During Floyd’s memorial service in Raeford, North Carolina, Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said that law enforcement officers across the country “are part of the problem.”
“We as law enforcement officers don’t have the authority to bully, push people around and kill them because we have on a badge and a gun. . . It’s got to change. We keep talking, we keep talking, we keep talking until it happens again. . . Enough of talking. Don’t let the life of George Floyd be in vain.”
A number of police officers have used a lot of force during the widespread protests against the murder of Floyd. Some of these officers have been fired, while others have been charged. In Buffalo, two officers who pushed a 75-year-old protester during one of the demonstrations were charged with second-degree assault.
The US Park Police are accused of using violence against the protesters. The authorities are said to have sent protesters stumbling and running for their dear lives, using chemical reagents and punches last week.
In another incident of racism, a pair of police officers are said to have racially profiled a black Rhode Island firefighter as they approached him with their guns drawn. The firefighter, Terrell Paci, said he was on duty and was sitting in a car outside the fire station when the incident occurred.
He added that he informed them that he was a firefighter, but they kept coming towards the car aiming their guns before searching the car and leaving. A Providence police sergeant later went to the station and apologized.