Minneapolis cop with knee on neck of black man dies: Bystander video courtesy of Darnella Frazier captures unidentified white officer with his knee on suspect — George Floyd, who pleads for him to take it off only for the man to later die in hospital as 4 cops who were at the scene are now fired.
A black man has died in Minneapolis police custody after bystander, Darnella Frazier filmed an unidentified white officer unrelentingly kneeling on his neck during his arrest. The incident caught on video clearly showed the man continuously pleading that he couldn’t breathe and for the officer to desist.
George Floyd‘s death, which occurred Monday night after a struggle with police officers, was under investigation by the FBI and state agents. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, speaking to reporters Tuesday morning, was asked about the use of the knee on the man’s neck during the arrest.
‘We clearly have policies in place regarding placing someone under control,’ Arradondo said, stating that taking a look at what happened and how those policies apply ‘will be part of the full investigation we’ll do internally.’
Officers were called about 8 p.m. Monday to investigate a report of a forgery at a business, according to police spokesman John Elder. Police found Floyd, believed to be in his 40s, matching the suspect’s description in his car.
‘I cannot breathe! I cannot breathe!’ ‘Don’t kill me!’
‘He was ordered to step from his car. After he got out, he physically resisted officers,’ Elder said in a statement. ‘Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.’
Floyd was taken by ambulance to Hennepin County Medical Center where he died a short time later, police said. The name of the officer seen kneeling on his neck wasn’t immediately released.
Of note, chokeholds are banned under Minneapolis police policy. It remained unclear why the un-named officer continued applying pressure to the suspect who had long ceased to resist.
‘I cannot breathe! I cannot breathe!’ the man yells in the video posted to Darnella Frazier’s Facebook page. ‘Don’t kill me!’
In the clip, onlookers repeatedly plead with the white officer to take his knee off the man’s neck. At one point, the man becomes unresponsive.
‘Bro, he’s not even f–king moving!’ one says to police. ‘Get off of his neck!’
Another bystander asks the cop, ‘Did you kill him?’
This is murder. Both officers need to be booked for murder.
These officers should have been charged within hours of their crime like any citizen would have been if they did this to us? https://t.co/fnZsTX6dX9
— Ethical Society of Police – ESOP (@ESOP_STL) May 26, 2020
Cold blooded murder?
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has joined the FBI in its investigation. All body camera footage has been turned over to the BCA, which investigates most police shootings and in-custody deaths. The officers involved have been put on paid administrative leave, per department protocol, CBS reported.
Come Tuesday afternoon, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced that four officers are now ‘former employees’ of the force, CBS Minnesota reported.
Of note, Arredondo declined to identify the officers who had been fired by name.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey saw this entire video and called it ‘wrong on every level.’
‘I believe what I saw and what I saw was wrong at every level. This does not reflect the values that Chief Arradondo has worked tirelessly to instill. It does not represent the training we’ve invested in or the measures we’ve taken to ensure accountability. Being black in America should not be a death sentence,’ Frey said.
The attorney representing family for George Floyd called it abusive and excessive. The police union said this is not the time to rush to judgment.
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
Police brutality rampant in Minneapolis
Nekima Levy-Armstrong, a prominent local activist, said watching the footage that was shared on social media made her ‘sick to her stomach’ and she said it’s another example of police brutality toward African American men, the Star Tribune reported.
‘Whatever the man may have done should not have ended in a death sentence,’ she said. ‘What started as an alleged economic incident once again turned deadly for a black man.’
Levy-Armstrong said it reminded her of the Eric Garner case. He was an unarmed New York man who died in 2014 after he was placed in a chokehold by police and pleaded for his life saying he couldn’t breathe. A grand jury later decided against indicting the officers involved, sparking protests around the country.
Police in Minneapolis have come under scrutiny in recent years for deadly run-ins with citizens. A 24-year-old black man, Jamar Clark, was shot in the head and died in 2015 after a confrontation with two white officers responding to a reported assault. A county prosecutor declined to prosecute the officers, saying Clark was struggling for one of the officers’ gun when he was shot.
A white woman, Justine Ruszczyk Damond, died in 2017 when she was shot in the stomach by a Minneapolis officer responding to her 911 call. That officer, who is black, was convicted of manslaughter and murder and is serving a 12-year prison sentence.