Four Minneapolis police officers were fired on Tuesday after the death of an African-American man who was hit to the ground and immobilized with a knee to the neck during his arrest. The victim’s family condemns “excessive and inhuman” use of force and accuses the police of racism.
“Being black in the United States should not be a death sentence.” So said the Mayor of Minneapolis on Tuesday, May 26, when he announced the dismissal of four police officers involved in the muscular arrest of a black man who died shortly after. “The four Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s death have been dismissed,” City Mayor Jacob Frey said on Twitter, saying “it was the right decision.”
The scene, which was filmed Monday night for ten minutes by a passer-by on Facebook Live, shows George Floyd, about 40 years old, tacked to the ground on the stomach by a police officer who immobilizes him with a knee to the neck.
‘Please. Your knee in my neck. I can not breathe. ‘
Black man George Floyd died shortly after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled (warning: worrying) pic.twitter.com/AAObPVaBvP
– NowThis (@nowthisnews) May 26, 2020
The man complained for long minutes about not being able to breathe and that he was in pain, while the agent, a white man, told him to stay calm. A second policeman keeps passers-by who get angry when George Floyd does not move and seems unconscious.
“He no longer breathes”
“He is no longer breathing, he is no longer moving, taking his pulse,” repeats a witness as police wait for an ambulance to arrive after several minutes. He was taken to a hospital where he died soon after.
A police spokesman said Monday night that the man, who appeared to be intoxicated or drugged, had resisted arrest by officials demanding a minor crime. It was after cuffing him that the officer “realized the suspect was in medical distress” and called an ambulance, he said.
Passers-by gathered and placed flowers on the scene of the arrest, while others showed posters asking the police to “stop killing blacks.”
The case is reminiscent of Eric Garner, a black man who died after being choked during his arrest by the New York White Police in 2014. The case had particularly contributed to the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement (“The Life for Black Accounts”) and created a protest. Other deaths of blacks in police hands had caused riots in the country.
New York and Los Angeles police have banned controversial immobilisation methods, such as tuck-in.
George Floyd’s family lawyer Benjamin Crump condemned “excessive, excessive and inhumane use of force” for a “non-violent” crime and called for an end to “racial profiling and (de) minimizing” black lives by police. “
Benjamin Crump is also a lawyer for the relatives of Ahmaud Arbery, a black jogger who was killed by two Whites in February in the state of Georgia, a case that recently aroused outrage after reactions of a video of facts.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo has said an investigation will be initiated by the federal police. “We will cooperate fully with the FBI investigation,” he said. The cameras the police were wearing were able to clarify the circumstances of the arrest.