George Floyd Police Brutality Murder Video Footage
Four Minneapolis police officers were fired Tuesday, authorities said, amid protests and outrage after a viral video showed one of them kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed black man who cried that he could not breathe and later died.
A bystander’s video of the incident on the city’s south side captured George Floyd telling the officers “I cannot breathe” as he is pinned to the ground, and as an increasingly distraught crowd of onlookers pleads with the officer to move his knee.
The officers involved in the incident have not been identified, but Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) announced Tuesday afternoon that they had been terminated.
“It is the right decision for our city, the right decision for our community. It is the right decision for the Minneapolis Police Department,” Frey said at a news conference with Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. “We’ve stated our values, and ultimately we need to live by them.”
The Minneapolis Police Department originally said that Floyd, who was stopped Monday night on a report of a forgery, had “physically resisted officers.” But in a Tuesday interview with local outlet North News, Frey said that as additional information was revealed, “it became clear that the original statement was not accurate.”
Arradondo said during the news conference that he had decided to ask the FBI to investigate after receiving “additional information” about the incident from a community source, but he declined to elaborate.
Calling in the FBI was “the very clear and obvious choice when you watch the footage provided in the civilian video,” Frey said in the North News interview.
“For five minutes we watched as a white officer pressed his knee into the neck of a black man who was helpless,” the mayor said. “For five whole minutes. This was not a matter of a split-second poor decision.”
The quick dismissals of the officers contrast with several previous high-profile incidents, including the 2014 death of Eric Garner in New York. After other deadly encounters between civilians and police, officers involved have often retained their jobs for a time — including the police officer recorded with his arm around Garner’s neck, who was fired five years later.
Minneapolis-area law enforcement has faced criticism in recent years over its use of force. In a 2016 incident that drew widespread condemnation, an officer with the suburban St. Anthony Police Department shot and killed 32-year-old Philando Castile during a traffic stop, the aftermath of which was streamed live on Facebook.
New video shows events before the handcuffing of a black man in Minneapolis
And in 2017, a Minneapolis police officer fatally shot 40-year-old Justine Damond after she called 911 to report a possible assault near her house. Damond’s death followed the acquittal of the officer who killed Castile, exacerbating the already tense relations between law enforcement and the community.
Floyd’s death came amid a national conversation about the rush to judgment of unarmed black men, both by police and civilians. Earlier this month, authorities in Georgia arrested two white men after one shot and killed a black jogger, Ahmaud Arbery, telling police they believed he was involved in local burglaries. A prosecutor initially argued the actions of the men, father and son Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael, were in accordance with the law.
And Tuesday, social media was largely consumed with the story of a white woman, Amy Cooper, who called 911 on a black birdwatcher who told her to leash her dog in New York’s Central Park, telling a dispatcher that he had threatened her life.
Two Minneapolis police officers approached a parked vehicle in the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South around 8 p.m. on Monday, according to security footage reviewed by The Washington Post. After a brief struggle with the driver, who appeared to be Floyd, they placed him in handcuffs and sat him against the wall of the Dragon Wok restaurant.
Dragon Wok owner Rashad West provided The Post with nearly two hours of footage of the incident.
Before police arrived, three people were seen in the footage walking out of the nearby Cup Foods convenience store, and one spoke with the people in the vehicle.
Billy Abumayyaleh, whose teenage son works at the market, told The Post that his son “confronted the man about a fake $20 bill” before police were contacted. Abumayyaleh said his son tried to intervene when the officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck but was stopped by another officer, who pushed him away.
Darnella Frazier, who filmed the police encounter with Floyd, was on her way to see friends when she saw the incident unfolding outside the Cup Foods market. She quickly began recording the encounter in a 10-minute video later shared to Facebook.
#BlackLivesMatter #MLB #ICantBreathe #ICantBreath #ICantBreatheAgain #ICantBreathAgain #GeorgeFloyd
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