- The death of Floyd has sparked outrage from all quarters.
- The Minneapolis Police Department's third precinct building was also set ablaze on Thursday by protestors.
- President Trump called those who started the fire at the police station “thugs,” who are out to dishonor Floyd’s memory.
The ex-Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested on Friday and charged with the murder of George Floyd. According to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, Chauvin was charged with third degree murder and manslaughter. In all the demonstrations, protesters have been demanding the prosecution of the officer who had his knee on Floyd’s neck.
Floyd died on Monday. The four officers involved in the arrest of Floyd were fired on Tuesday. The death of Floyd has sparked outrage from all quarters. Bridgett Floyd, sister to the late man, said all the four officers should face murder charges. “They murdered my brother. He was crying for help,” Bridgett said.
Former Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, on his part called the incident “a tragic reminder that this was not an isolated incident, but a part of an ingrained systematic cycle of injustice that still exists in this country.”
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.
The Minneapolis Police Department’s third precinct building was also set ablaze on Thursday by protestors who have been demonstrating for the third day running. The Third Precinct police station has been a major site for the demonstrations.
The protests are to demand justice for Floyd. The demonstration started peacefully, but turned violent as it progressed. The police station and two other buildings were set ablaze and the station was evacuated.
US President Donald Trump called those who started the fire at the police station “thugs,” who are out to dishonor Floyd’s memory. He called on the National Guard to restore order in the city. The Justice Department said that they have made the investigations into Floyd’s murder a priority.
On the second day of the protests, one man was shot and killed. The police department said that they responded to a report of a stabbing, but upon reaching the Bloomington area, they found the body of a man lying on the sidewalk.
The man was pronounced dead on arrival to the hospital. The police revealed that one person has been arrested in relation to the shooting, although the motive remains unclear.
The protest began peacefully on Wednesday afternoon, but turned violent as night approached and was characterized by multiple fires, widespread looting and the use of teargas.
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.