- 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.
- Both presidential candidates weighed in on Twitter Wednesday.
One man was shot and killed during protests against the police-involved death of George Floyd, an African American in Minneapolis. 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 tear gas. Since the death of Floyd on Monday, hundreds of protesters have been filling the southern part of the city, near the site of Floyd’s death. Protesters demonstrated and demanded justice for the man who died in a horrifying manner.
The city’s Mayor, Jacob Frey, called on the residents to be calm and maintain peace in honor of Floyd. The Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, on his part, urged residents to be patient as investigations on the matter were underway. Arradondo said he ordered for the use of tear gas so as to disperse the crowd that was engaging in criminal acts, adding that he is committed to protect the lives of people who demonstrate peacefully.
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.
President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday, “my heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!” His opponent, Joe Biden, on his part, called the incident “a tragic reminder that this was not an isolated incident, but a part of an ingrained, systemic cycle of injustice that still exists in this country.”
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 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.
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.”
The four Minneapolis police officers who appeared on the video were fired. The FBI and state law enforcement are 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.