A video taken by an onlooker Monday evening shows a man identified as George Floyd, being brutalized by the police. The video shows a Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee on the neck of the motionless, moaning man at the foot of a squad car. The man, died shortly after.
An FBI investigation is underway and four officers have been fired following the fatal encounter. Mayor Jacob Frey tweeted, “Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated. This is the right call.”
In a statement released by the police, the man had a medical incident during an attempted arrest. However, the video of the encounter shows an officer with his knee on the man’s neck for at least seven minutes. Before the man loses consciousness, he repeatedly tells officers that he can’t breathe. The police statement stated officers were responding to a “forgery in progress.” “Officers were advised that the suspect was sitting on top of a blue car and appeared to be under the influence,” the statement said. “Two officers arrived and located the suspect, a male believed to be in his 40s, and was ordered to step from his car.”
“After he got out, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers then called for an ambulance,” the man died soon after.”
Ben Crump, a prominent civil rights and personal injury attorney has been hired by Floyd’s family. “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,” Crump said in a statement. He continued, “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.”
Minneapolis Mayor, Jacob Frey called the man’s death “simply awful,” and “wrong at every level” at the press conference on Tuesday. “For the better part of the night I’ve been trying to find the words to describe what happened and all I keep coming back to is that he should not have died,” Frey said.
However, the officer who placed Floyd in the choke hold was fired but not charged.