One thing that hasn't changed a bit in 2020 is the rate of police killings of black people, even through the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest murder, recorded on video, is of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed by Minneapolis cops after the police were caught by smartphone with one officer's knee crushing Floyd's neck.
The F.B.I. and Minnesota law enforcement authorities are investigating the arrest of a black man who died after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by an officer’s knee, in an episode that was recorded on video by a bystander and denounced by the mayor of Minneapolis on Tuesday.
After the shocking video circulated widely on social media, the mayor said in the afternoon that four police officers had been fired. He identified the victim as George Floyd.
The arrest took place on Monday evening, the Minneapolis Police Department said in a statement, after officers responded to a call about a man suspected of forgery. The police said the man, believed to be in his 40s, was found sitting on top of a blue car and “appeared to be under the influence.”
“He was ordered to step from his car,” the department’s statement said. “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.”
The statement said that officers called for an ambulance and that the man was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, “where he died a short time later.”
On Tuesday morning, without referring to the video recorded by a bystander, the police updated a statement, titled “Man Dies After Medical Incident During Police Interaction,” that said that additional information had “been made available” and that the F.B.I. was joining the investigation.
On Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis tweeted that the four responding officers involved in the case had been terminated. “This is the right call,” he said.
The bystander video shows a white Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee into a black man’s neck during an arrest, as the man repeatedly says “I can’t breathe” and “please, I can’t breathe.”
As the video spread on social media on Monday night, the arrest quickly drew comparisons to the case of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died in New York Police custody in 2014, after an officer held him in a chokehold. Mr. Garner’s repeated plea of “I can’t breathe” — also recorded by a cellphone — became a rallying cry at demonstrations against police misconduct around the country.
“Being black in America should not be a death sentence,” Mayor Frey said in a statement on Tuesday. “For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a black man’s neck. Five minutes.”
The video recorded in Minneapolis shows that, after a few minutes, the man, lying face down in the street with his hands cuffed behind his back, becomes silent and motionless; the officer continues to pin the man to the pavement with his knee.
Five whole minutes with an cop's knee cutting off your air supply.
Five minutes of being asphyxiated.
Nobody came to his rescue, because after all, the cops would have arrested them or worse.
I would say he died like a dog, but in America we treat our dogs a thousand times better than we treat the most lauded of black folk. Being President of the United States of America didn't save Barack Obama from a nation of white supremacists who wanted him hanged from a tree and still do.
Minneapolis decided it had enough yesterday.
Thousands of people marched through the streets of south Minneapolis Tuesday night in response to the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for several minutes and ignored the man’s protests that he couldn’t breathe.
Protesters marched from the site of Floyd’s death — outside Cup Foods on Chicago Avenue — to the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct, where the door was smashed and protest signs left outside.
Shortly before 8 p.m., police clad in riot gear were firing tear gas and sandbags at the protesters, who were throwing water bottles at them in what appeared to be a standoff.
As it marched earlier, the crowd, which numbered in the thousands, shouted chants such as “I can’t breathe” and called for the swift prosecution of the officers involved in the incident.
“This will happen again if we don’t get out in front of this,” said community activist Al Flowers, who called the incident “one of the most egregious murders I’ve ever seen.” He said the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck should be prosecuted.
At one point, protesters pelted a line of police SUVs with water bottles and other items, shattering the windows.
It's infuriating. Four cops just casually killed a man in front of a crowd because he was black.
And you want to tell me I should respect law enforcement?
And you want to tell me "Well if he followed the rules, he'd still be alive..."
And you want to tell me...what?
Black Lives Still Matter.
You can't kill all of us.