Recorded on cellphone video physically abusing a handcuffed and motionless man for several minutes, four Minneapolis police officers were fired Tuesday for needlessly causing his death.
On Tuesday, the Minneapolis Police Department issued the following press release: “On Monday evening, shortly after 8:00 pm, officers from the Minneapolis Police Department responded to the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South on a report of 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.
“Two officers arrived and located the suspect, a male believed to be in his 40s, in his car. He 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 called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.
“At no time were weapons of any type used by anyone involved in this incident…
“No officers were injured in the incident.”
The official police press release neglected to mention that one of the officers was recorded on bystander video aggressively pressing his left knee into the back of George Floyd’s neck for at least 8 minutes despite the fact that Floyd had already been handcuffed and remained motionless for the majority of that time. Floyd’s nose was also bleeding profusely for several minutes.
“I can’t breathe, please, the knee in my neck,” George Floyd, pleaded in the video while dying on the ground under the officer’s oppressive knee. “I can’t move…my neck…I’m through, I’m through.”
As Floyd continued to bleed from the nose and lose consciousness, the crowd of onlookers begged the officers for several minutes to release the dying man and place him in the patrol vehicle. The bystanders repeatedly noted that Floyd was in handcuffs, bleeding, and had not moved or even appeared to breathe for multiple minutes.
Their cries were ignored as Floyd appeared to die in front of them with an officer’s knee vehemently pressed against the deceased man’s neck.
“Check his pulse!” one of the witnesses pleaded as the officers ignored him while continuing to antagonize the crowd of helpless onlookers.
On Tuesday morning, the Minneapolis Police Department announced that the FBI will be joining the investigation into Floyd’s death while in police custody. Later that day, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey took to Twitter and wrote, “Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated.
“This is the right call.”
“Being black in America should not be a death sentence,” Mayor Frey said at a news conference Tuesday morning. “For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a black man’s neck. Five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, you’re supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic, human sense.”
According to the video, the unidentified officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes.
Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing his family, recently issued the following statement: “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. We will seek justice for the family of George Floyd, as we demand answers from the Minneapolis Police Department.”