The video in question shows a white police officer with a man, later identified as George Floyd, pinned to the ground next to the back tire of his patrol car with his knee on the back of the man’s neck. “Please, please, please I can’t breathe,” he begs. “My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Please, please. I can’t breathe.”
Some people watching in the crowd told the officer to get off the man. “You’re stopping his breathing right now, you think that’s cool?” one man says. “His nose is bleeding, look at his nose!” says a woman but the officer did not stop. When the man stopped moving more people attempted to intervene, but the officer stayed on the man’s neck as the man laid there unresponsive. The officer had him pinned for about 8 minutes before the paramedics arrived.
Floyd died on Monday night and the four officers involved have been terminated Body camera video is available, but has not been made public yet.
“The man looked already dead before the ambulance even got there. He was clearly trying to tell them he couldn’t breathe and they ignored him,” Darnella Frazier said.
The officers were responding to a report of a forgery in progress. Once there, they found the suspect in his car. He stepped out of the car when he was ordered to but allegedly resisted.
Early Tuesday the Minneapolis Police Department released a statement. “Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress,” the statement said. “Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.”
The department said that they called the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to do an independent investigation but later announced that the FBI would also be investigating too.
After reviewing the video, Mayor Jacob Frey said “What we saw was horrible, completely and utterly messed up… I believe what I saw, and what I saw was wrong at every level.” He continued, “Being black in America should not be a death sentence… When you hear someone calling for help, you are supposed to help, and this officer failed in the most basic human sense.”
A protest is planned for Tuesday night at the site. Mayor Frey is encouraging protestors to express their anger safely and while social distancing.