George Floyd Death Sparks Protests, Firings, and FBI Investigation
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody caused protests and anger, 4 officers to lose their jobs, and an FBI and State investigation into possible civil liberties violations.
MPD officers responded to a report of a “forgery suspect” on Monday evening. The suspect was said to be sitting on top of a blue car and may be inebriated. When two officers arrived, the “suspect” was sitting in a car and officers demanded he get out. But from there, things went awry and a man died.
As the man exited his car, one of the officers placed his knee on Floyd’s neck and demanded he get in the patrol car. (Tough to do with a knee on your neck, by the way). He told the officers he was unable to breathe, and that everything hurt. A bystander took video of the incident, and several people begged the officers to stop and place him in the patrol car.
All of the officers reportedly had body cameras, so there should be some footage of the incident. The videos already out there from other sources do not appear to match the police statements.
In the video, Floyd is seen moaning and struggling, as bystanders urge officers to place him in the police car. “Please,” Floyd pleads. “I can’t breathe,” he 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.”
The officer’s knee was on Floyd’s neck until he no longer moved and went silent, which was several minutes. In the official police statement, they stated the officers noted the man was in “medical distress” so they called an ambulance. If they believed he was in medical distress, should the officer have removed the leg immediately when the man stated he couldn’t breathe, and the ambulance called immediately?
Bystander Darnella Frazier took the video that spawned the protests.
According to another article in CBS, onlookers in the video told the officers:
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.”
The official police statement was that Floyd was “resisting arrest” but video footage from a nearby restaurant surveillance camera did not appear to back up that statement.
“From what I saw, it didn’t look like he was resisting at all.” Rashad West, restaurant owner
Benjamin Crump, an attorney hired by Floyd’s family, gave this statement,
“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. 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.”
The Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and Mayor Jacob Frey announced that the four officers were fired. The family’s attorney wants them charged with murder.
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
An autopsy will reveal George Floyd’s medical issues, if indeed there were any. Regardless of any physical problem, the officers involved showed extremely poor judgment. Whether or not it was racially motivated, it was an arrest improperly made.
Police officers take an oath that is being violated more times than we can count these days. Whether it’s COVID-19 enforcement or everyday poor judgment, heavy-handed methods are causing serious problems for all Americans.
Democrat-controlled cities appear to have many incidents similar to this. Is there a pattern?
Featured photo: Screenshot from video by Darnella Frazier