You would think the words “I can’t breathe” would be a stop sign to any cop at this point.
Minneapolis, Minnesota – A video taken by an onlooker showed up on Facebook on Monday evening, showing the death of another unarmed black man.
The video shows a cop recklessly holding a motionless black male down with his knee, at the foot of a police vehicle. The man, who was later identified as George Floyd, later died.
On Tuesday, after public pressure hit the fan, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced that four officers involved are now “former employees” with the department, CBS Minnesota reports. Mayor Jacob Frey tweeted, “Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated. This is the right call.”
A police statement said officers were responding 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,” the statement said. “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,” according to the statement.
The man died soon after, the statement said, adding: “At no time were weapons of any type used by anyone involved in this incident. … Body worn cameras were on and activated during this incident.”
Arradondo said at a press conference Tuesday that the FBI will lead the investigation into the incident due to the possible civil rights violation.
As always, prominent civil rights and personal injury attorney Benjamin Crump hopped on the case, and has been hired by Floyd’s family.
“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 in a statement. “This abusive, excessive and inhumane use of force cost the life of a man who was being detained by the police for questioning about a non-violent charge.”
Two of the officers involved have been “relieved of duty status,” Arradondo said. The officers are still receiving pay, but have no law enforcement duties.
The video, captured by Darnella Frazier, begins with the man, who is black, groaning and repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe” to the officer who has his knee on the man’s neck. The officer is white.
“Please,” the man pleads. “I can’t breathe,” and continues to moan. An officer keeps insisting he get in the car, while the man repeatedly says he can’t.
“My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts. … (I need) water or something. Please. Please. I can’t breathe, officer. … I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe.” That was followed by more groaning.
A female bystander points out the subject’s nose is bleeding.
In an ongoing commentary permeated by cursing, a male onlooker says: “That’s bulls**t, Bro. You’re stopping his breathing right there, Bro. Get him off the ground, Bro. You’re being a bum right now.”
The man says the officer is “enjoying that. He’s a bum, Bro. You could have put him in the car by now. He’s not resisting arrest or nothing. You’re enjoying it. Look at you. Your body language — you bum. You know that’s bogus right now.”
The female onlooker repeatedly urges the officers to check the subject’s pulse. “He’s not responsive right now,” a bystander says. “He’s not moving.” An ambulance then arrives and takes the man away.
“You just really killed that man, Bro,” the male onlooker says to the officer.
Frazier, who took the video, wrote on Facebook: “They killed him right in front of cup foods over south on 38th and Chicago!! No type of sympathy 💔💔#POLICEBRUTALITY.”
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called the man’s death “simply awful,” and “wrong at every level” at the press conference Tuesday.
“For the better part of the night I’ve been trying to find the words to describe what happened and all I keep coming back to is that he should not have died,” Frey said.
“What we saw was horrible, completely and utterly messed up,” he said. “This man’s life matters, he matters. He was someone’s son, someone’s family member, someone’s friend. He was a human being and his life mattered.”
George was a close friend of retired NBA star Stephen Jackson who lovingly called him “Twin,” and said he’d just sent George a bunch of clothes.
I’ve been away from crime blogging for two years. I cried after writing this post. I am so tired of seeing these things happen to our people. But I am glad that I’ve changed the blog world and they report on every day humans now, and not just the lives of celebrities.
People love to say we are writing negative blogs, but telling the truth about reality isn’t negative. You shouldn’t have to be a celebrity to have your story told.
Floy’d cousin, Tera Brown told TMX.news that Floyd was a best friend and father.
“He was everyone’s favorite everything,” said Brown.
The world turned it’s back on Colin Kaepernick when he stood by kneeling over the oppression of black lives at the hands of police.
Lebron James responded to Floyd’s death by reminding the world why the Colin Kaepernicks’ of the world are necessary.
And instead of telling their fellow officer to STOP. The other officers decided to focus on keeping onlookers back.
RIP George Lucas. The world has your back.