George Floyd the black man's death: Four Minneapolis police fired, hundreds protest to demand justice
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What is the video showing?
|Photo cut from the video.|
The video shows two officers by the man on the ground -- one of them with his knee over the back of the man's neck. The video did not capture what led up to the arrest or what police described as the man resisting arrest. "Please, I can't breathe," the man said, screaming for several minutes before he became silent. Bystanders urged the officer to release the man from his hold.
While in a Facebook video posted Monday, bystanders urged the officer to get off the man. Two officers handled the man on the ground while another stood nearby with his eyes on the bystanders as traffic passed in the background. After several minutes of pleading with an officer pressing a knee to the back of his neck, the man appeared motionless, his eyes shut, his head against the pavement.
The man, identified at 46-year-old George Floyd, died at a local hospital, according to police. The case echoes the death of Eric Garner, another black man who died while a white officer restrained him, ignoring pleas of "I can't breathe," according to USA Today.
Who is George Floyd and the incident recalls the name of Derek Chauvin
|Georege Floyd (left). Photo by IB Times.|
Floyd, who worked security at Conga Latin Bistro, was described as a "gentle giant," the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported Tuesday. He was arrested Monday outside a deli on suspicion of forgery. On Facebook, the restaurant posted pictures of Floyd, including one of him smiling at the camera in a "security" T-shirt. The caption reads, "We will always remember you."
Chauvin was one of six officers who fired their weapons in the 2006 death of Wayne Reyes, whom police said pointed a sawed-off shotgun at officers after stabbing two people. Chauvin also shot and wounded a man in 2008 in a struggle after Chauvin and his partner responded to a reported domestic assault.
|Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo says the officers involved have been placed on leave.|
The Minneapolis Police Department's Policy & Procedure Manual defines a neck restraint as a "non-deadly force option."
The handbook reads: "Defined as compressing one or both sides of a person’s neck with an arm or leg, without applying direct pressure to the trachea or airway (front of the neck). Only sworn employees who have received training from the MPD Training Unit are authorized to use neck restraints."
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, speaking to reporters Tuesday, was asked about the use of the knee on Floyd's neck during the arrest.
“We clearly have policies in place regarding placing someone under control,” Arradondo said, explaining that those policies “will be part of the full investigation we’ll do internally.”
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, in a statement, identified the man as Floyd and said he was representing his family. The mayor also identified him on Twitter.
"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," Crump said. "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."
Floyd's cause and manner of death remains pending and is being investigated by local, state and federal law enforcement, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said in a statement.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar via Twitter called the incident "yet another horrifying and gutwrenching instance of an African American man dying."
The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis said in a statement the officers were cooperating in the investigation.
"Now is not the time rush to (judgment) and immediately condemn our officers," the statement said. "Officers' actions and training protocol will be carefully examined after the officers have provided their statements."
Hundreds flock the street demanding for justice
|Protesters carried signs saying ‘I can’t breathe’, quoting Floyd. Photograph: Eric Miller/Reuters|
Police and protesters clashed in Minneapolis on Tuesday evening following a demonstration at the intersection where George Floyd was killed in an altercation with several police officers the day before, the Guardian reported. While CNN describes the protesters -- many wearing face masks -- held "I can't breathe" signs and chanted together near the site of Monday's incident. Some motorists honked in support. Later in the evening, police attempted to disperse the crowds outside the Minneapolis Police 3rd Precinct after a front glass window was smashed.
Hundreds of protesters gathered in the city on Tuesday evening to demand justice after Floyd, who was African American, 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!”
Activists had blocked traffic for several blocks in every direction, and the crowd spilled out into the streets. News choppers hovered overhead and TV camera operators had found their way on to the roof of the building across the street from where protesters spoke.
The Twin Cities have seen several consecutive years of protests against police killings of black men, and in one case, an unarmed white Australian woman, but the gathering Tuesday was one of the largest the metro area has ever seen.
When asked why they had come, most people spoke about the need for police accountability, before inevitably turning to remember Floyd’s unheeded final pleas. “It could have been my son. It could have been me. It shouldn’t be,” said a protester.
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