The Federal Bureau of Investigation will probe the death of a black man who died shortly after being apprehended by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after a disturbing video emerged on social media showing a police officer with his knee on the man’s neck as the man repeatedly yells out, “I can’t breathe”.
What We Know:
- “I can’t breathe, please, the knee in my neck,” the man, identified as George Floyd, said in a video showing a police officer pinning him to the ground. “I can’t move … my neck … I’m through, I’m through.”
- Tuesday, the mayor of Minneapolis tweeted that all four responding officers involved in the incident have been terminated.
Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated.
This is the right call.
— Mayor Jacob Frey (@MayorFrey) May 26, 2020
- Mayor Jacob Frey called the incident “awful” and “traumatic,” saying, “It serves as a reminder of how far we have to go. To our black community, to the family: I’m so sorry,” he wrote.
“We all watched the horrific death of George Floyd on video as witnesses begged the police officer to take him into the police car and get off his neck. This abusive, excessive and inhumane use of force cost the life of a man who was being detained by the police for questioning about a non-violent charge.” – Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump
- Jovanni Thunstrom, owner of Conga Latin Bistro in Minneapolis, confirmed to ABC News that Floyd worked at his bistro as a security guard for more than five years. He described Floyd as beloved by customers and employees alike, saying he often worked extra hours and never complained. He was not working there at the time of his death due to COVID-19 closures.
- “It broke my heart. He didn’t deserve that, and the way he got killed, the officer had no compassion,” Thunstrom said. “I feel bad because when you know someone for so long, it’s different when you see it. It looks so disturbing. That police officer could have saved his life. He couldn’t breathe.”
- Amy Klobuchar, a former prosecutor in Hennepin County where the death took place, called for a “thorough outside investigation” into the incident in a statement on Twitter.
My statement on the officer-involved death in Minneapolis: pic.twitter.com/HUoGfXEj7R
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) May 26, 2020
- She added that “justice must be served for this man and his family, justice must be served for our community, and justice must be served for our country”.
- The Minneapolis Police Department said Monday that officers were initially called to the scene “on a report of a forgery in progress” in a statement on their website. Floyd later, “appeared to be suffering medical distress” and officers called an ambulance. He was transported to the Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance, “where he died a short time later”.
Police in Minneapolis have come under the microscope in recent years for deadly run-ins with citizens. A 24-year-old black man Jamar Clark, was shot in the head and died in 2015 after a confrontation with two white officers responding to a reported assault. A county prosecutor declined to prosecute the officers, saying Clark was struggling for one of the officers’ gun when he was shot.