A horrifying video has gone viral worldwide which shows an unarmed 46-year-old black man named George Floyd being killed during an arrest by four police officers in the United States city of Minneapolis.
The video of the fatal encounter which has gone viral worldwide was posted on Facebook by Darnella Frazier who captioned it,
They killed him right in front of cup foods over south on 38th and Chicago!! No type of sympathy 💔💔#POLICEBRUTALITY.
The nine-minute video shows a white officer pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck behind a squad car. While lying facedown on the road, Floyd repeatedly groans and says he can’t breathe.
“He’s not even resisting arrest right now, bro,” one bystander tells the white officer and his partner, in the video. “You’re f—ing stopping his breathing right now, you think that’s cool?”
After about five minutes, Floyd stops moving and appears unconscious. People in the gathering crowd plead for the officers to check Floyd’s pulse. The officer on Floyd’s neck does not lift his knee until medical personnel arrive and carry him to an ambulance.
Charles McMillan says he saw it all happen.
“There’s a black man who died and it could have been prevented, because all he had to do was get his feet off his neck,” McMillan said
Below is part of the video footage of the arrest and killing of George Floyd.
In a statement earlier on Tuesday, the Minneapolis Police Department said its officers were responding to a “report of a forgery in progress” and that Floyd had resisted arrest.
“After [the suspect] got out [of his car], he physically resisted officers,” the statement said. “Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.”
However, CBS News acquired video of Floyd’s initial arrest, which seems to contradict the police’s claim that he resisted arrested, at least in the early stages of their encounter.
MORE: Video obtained by CBS News shows what appears to be the start of the confrontation between George Floyd & Minneapolis police officers. A restaurant's security footage shows cops taking him into custody, but the restaurant owner says it does not show Floyd resisting arrest. pic.twitter.com/KR8r7B1WPl
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) May 26, 2020
The four police officers involved in the killing of George Floyd were initially placed on “relieved of duty status,” which means that they would still be paid but with no law enforcement duties.
However, following public outrage and condemnation, the four Minneapolis police officers have since been fired by Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has announced that it is now investigating the killing.
Leaders in Minnesota are calling for the officers involved to be held accountable. Rep. Ilhan Omar, who represents Minneapolis, called for the Department of Justice to investigate immediately.
It is sickening to watch this black man be killed while helplessly begging for help,” she said in a statement.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz tweeted Tuesday, “The lack of humanity in this disturbing video is sickening. We will get answers and seek justice.”
St. Paul, Minnesota, Mayor Melvin Carter called the video of the incident “one of the most vile and heartbreaking images I’ve ever seen.”
The officer who stood guard is just as responsible as his partner; both must be held fully accountable,” Carter tweeted. “This must stop now.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic candidate for president, tweeted his reaction to Floyd’s death Tuesday night.
4 Minneapolis police officers have been terminated following the death of George Floyd, who was seen pleading "I cannot breathe" as an officer put a knee on his neck for several minutes on Monday night, Minneapolis Mayor Frey says. https://t.co/GnRW494aM1
— Breaking News (@BreakingNews) May 26, 2020
Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Floyd’s family, says the officers’ unjust use of force over a non-violent charge cost Floyd his life. He released this statement to the media Tuesday evening:
Firing these officers was a good first step on the road to justice for George Floyd, but we need to make sure that the Mayor and the Police Chief fix the policies and training deficiencies that permitted this unlawful killing to occur. For four police officers to inflict this kind of unnecessary, lethal force – or watch it happen – despite outcry from witnesses who were recording the violence – demonstrates a breakdown in training and police by the City.
Today, George Floyd’s family is having to explain to his children why their father was executed by police on video. It’s essential that the City closely examines and changes its policing policies and training procedures to correct for the lack of proper field supervision; the use of appropriate, non-lethal restraint techniques; the ability to recognize medical signs associated with the restriction of airflow, and the legal duty to seek emergency medical care and stop a civil rights violation>chaosafrica