Four Minnesota Cops Fired After Death Of Handcuffed Black Man Pinned Down By Neck
Four Minnesota police officers have been fired following the death of a black man who was pinned down by the neck during his arrest.
Disturbing footage showed the man, identified as 46-year-old George Floyd, lying on the floor next to a police car with an officer kneeling on his neck during the arrest in Minneapolis on Monday, May 25.
Floyd could be heard groaning as the officer pressed down, telling him his neck hurt and that he couldn’t breathe.
Floyd continued to groan for a few minutes before falling silent and becoming unresponsive, after which passersby urged the arresting officers to check his pulse. An ambulance arrived to take Floyd away, and it was later announced he had died.
After the footage was shared online, Mayor Jacob Frey held a press conference where he described the incident as ‘completely and utterly messed up’.
Being black in America should not be a death sentence… I believe what I saw and what I saw is wrong on every level.
Only two police officers could be seen clearly in the footage, but there were a total of four involved in the arrest. Frey has since announced that all four officers have been ‘terminated’, adding: ‘This is the right call.’
The incident involving Floyd began with a report of a customer attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a store.
A statement from Minneapolis police explained:
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.
Bodycam footage from the scene has been handed to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the case alongside the FBI.
Frey said the technique used to pin Floyd’s head to the ground was against department regulations, CNN reports.
The technique that was used is not permitted; is not a technique that our officers get trained in on. And our chief has been very clear on that piece. There is no reason to apply that kind of pressure with a knee to someone’s neck.
The FBI’s investigation will focus on whether the police officers involved ‘willfully deprived the individual of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States’.
When the investigation is complete, the FBI will present its findings to the Minnesota state’s attorney for possible federal charges.
The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis said the officers were cooperating in the investigation, adding that training protocol will be ‘carefully examined’ once those involved had provided their statements.
On Tuesday evening, hundreds of protesters gathered on the road where Floyd was held to demand justice for his death. Floyd is now one of a number of unarmed black men to have lost their lives at the hands of police officers in the US.
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