Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired following the detainment of a man who died Monday night after being pinned to the ground by an officer who put his knee on the man’s neck for about eight minutes, nbc reports
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said it was the “right call” to terminate the officers in a tweet announcing the decision Tuesday. The police department said the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI would be independently investigating the incident.
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 Officers Federation of Minneapolis said in a statement earlier Tuesday that it was not the time to rush to judgment and that the officers were fully cooperating with the investigation, the report says.
“We must review all video. We must wait for the medical examiner’s report,” the statement said. “Officers’ actions and training protocol will be carefully examined after the officers have provided their statements.”
Video shows that a white police officer had a black man, identified as George Floyd, pinned to the ground next to the back tire of his patrol car with his knee on the man’s neck.
“Please, please, please, I can’t breathe,” the man begs. “My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Please, please. I can’t breathe.”
Onlookers outside the Minneapolis deli urge the officer to get off the man.
“You’re stopping his breathing right now, you think that’s cool?” a man says. “His nose is bleeding. Look at his nose!” says a woman.
The officer does not budge.
And then the man goes silent. More people begin to intervene and call for the officer or his partner to check for a pulse. The officer remains on the man’s neck, even as he lies apparently unresponsive, for a total of about eight minutes before paramedics arrive and the man is placed on a stretcher.
A police spokesman, John Elder, said in a statement that the department “put out the information that we believed to be wholly honest and true.”
“As we dug into it deeper, we realized that in fact it would be appropriate to have the FBI be a part of this investigation as well,” Elder said.
Additional information provided by a community member also prompted the request for an FBI investigation after it became clear that “there could be a question of civil rights,” Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Tuesday morning.
Civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump said in a statement that he was representing Floyd’s family and that his team will seek justice for the man’s death.
“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 police for questioning about a non-violent charge.