Thousands of protesters gathered in south Minneapolis yesterday, demanding justice for the death of 47-year-old George Floyd. Floyd was pronounced dead on Monday night just hours after police had detained him, using excessive force. A partial clip of the tragic incident was captured on video. The video showed an officer pressing down on Floyd’s neck with his knee. In the video, Floyd said numerous times, “I can’t breathe,” and, “Please, I can’t breathe.”
On Tuesday, after the video went viral, Minneapolis Police said four officers related to Floyd’s detainment of Floyd had been fired. The FBI and Minnesota law enforcement authorities are investigating the incident, the New York Times reports.
The scene at the Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct. pic.twitter.com/ykxsfPn8PD
— Carlos Gonzalez (@CarlosGphoto) May 27, 2020
Images of the protest yesterday showed police in riot gear firing rubber bullets and tear gas at the crowd. The Star-Tribune reported that the protest died down around 9 p.m.
Floyd’s death hits hard, especially after the murder of Ahmaud Arbery — the 25-year-old Georgia man that was shot by two white men. But these two deaths are just two of the latest cases in which white civilians and officers kill unarmed black men.
“This will happen again if we don’t get out in front of this,” community activist Al Flowers told the Star-Tribune. She said Floyd’s death “one of the most egregious murders I’ve ever seen.”
Hours after the firing of the four cops involved, this is the south Minneapolis intersection near where George Floyd was killed on Memorial Day when an officer knelt on his neck. Protest has the whole block at a standstill. Vid: @KSTP pic.twitter.com/bOqYlyEoYe
— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) May 27, 2020
According to a press release by the Minneapolis Police Department, officers responded to 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.”
People are still dropping flowers near where George Floyd was killed on Monday. pic.twitter.com/OJnARcsvpQ
— Jared Goyette (@JaredGoyette) May 26, 2020
The police report adds that the officers had body-worn cameras and were on and activated during this incident. However, those videos have yet to be released. According to the Times, the identification of the officers that were fired will be released after their interviews.
Updated, 3:30 p.m.: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is demanding the officer that had his knee on Floyd’s neck be charged in his death.
“I’ve wrestled with, more than anything else over the last 36 hours, one fundamental question: Why is the man who killed George Floyd, not in jail?” Frey asked, according to ABC5. “If you had done it, or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now.”