On May 26th, riots took place in the city of Minneapolis after George Floyd, a black man, was killed when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck as he lay on the ground during an arrest. Footage of the incident showed Floyd shouting “I cannot breathe” and “Don’t kill me!”
Demonstrators and police clashed on the intersection where the man was killed.
A large and diverse crowd had gathered at the start of the protest, with some carrying signs reading “I can’t breathe” and “Jail killer KKKops” and chanting “Prosecute the police.”
Just before I interviewed this man across the street from the third precinct, one of the officers in riot gear walked down the line of police chanting something close to "Take the precinct back," as if he were trying to pump them up. They repeated it, like a call and response. pic.twitter.com/OIjqUFb5zK
— Jared Goyette (@JaredGoyette) May 27, 2020
The police responded with flash bangs, riot gear and tear gas.
— Brandon Long (King of Westeros) (@BLongStPaul) May 27, 2020
So much tear gas. pic.twitter.com/mEW2lwqB7c
— Evan Frost (@efrostee) May 27, 2020
— Evan Frost (@efrostee) May 27, 2020
George Floyd died late on May 25th, when officers responded to a call from a grocery store that claimed Floyd had used a forged check. Police said Floyd “physically resisted officers” while possibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In the video footage, witnesses can be heard shouting at officers to get off Floyd’s neck. One yells: “Bro, he’s not even fucking moving!” Another asks if “you’re going to just sit there with your knee on his neck?”
In a press conference on May 26th, Minneapolis police confirmed he “died a short time” after a “medical incident”, after being transported to hospital.
“[They] were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and realized that the suspect was suffering a medical distress,” a spokesman said, saying officers “called for an ambulance”.
Jacob Frey, mayor of Minneapolis apologized to Floyd’s family, saying that he “should not have died.”
“For five minutes we watched as a white officer pressed his knee to the neck of a black man,” Frey said. “For five minutes. This officer failed in the most basic human sense.
On May 26th, the FBI announced it had launched an investigation into the death, for possible civil rights violations, four police officers involved in the incident have been fired from the force.
Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated.
This is the right call.
— Mayor Jacob Frey (@MayorFrey) May 26, 2020
Floyd’s family retained the prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who in a statement said Floyd’s death was the result of “abusive, excessive and inhumane use of force”.
“We will seek justice for the family of George Floyd, as we demand answers from the Minnesota police department,” Crump said. “How many ‘while black’ deaths will it take until the racial profiling and undervaluing of black lives by police finally ends?”
The mayor of St Paul, Melvin Carter, called the footage of “a defenseless, handcuffed man one of the most vile and heartbreaking images” he had ever seen.
The video of a Minneapolis police officer killing a defenseless, handcuffed man is one of the most vile and heartbreaking images I’ve ever seen. The officer who stood guard is just as responsible as his partner; both must be held fully accountable. This must stop now.
— Mayor Melvin Carter (@MayorCarter) May 26, 2020
Minneapolis city council member Andrea Jenkins said in a statement the community “must demand answers” as it “continues to be traumatized again, and again and again”.
Earlier, back in 2016, 32-year-old Philando Castile, who was black, was shot and killed by a St Anthony police officer during a traffic stop. Footage of the incident also went viral online.
The officer, Jeronimo Yanez, who is Latino, was acquitted of a second-degree manslaughter charge and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- USA Plan: Militarized Control of Population. The “National Covid-19 Testing Action Plan”
- U.S. Helping “Legitimate Governments” in Latin America to Prevent Protests from “Morphing into Riots”