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UPDATE: “I can’t breathe:” 4 Minneapolis officers fired after man who resisted arrest dies

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UPDATE: Per Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced that 4 officers involved in the arrest of George Floyd, who later died, have been fired.

The FBI will also take part in the investigation into the circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death.

Mayor Frey today tweeted, ” Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated. This is the right call.”

EARLIER:

Kate Feldman, New York Daily News

A black man in his 40s died Monday night after what Minneapolis police are calling a “medical incident during police interaction.”

Video posted on Facebook shows the man, who has not been publicly identified, lying on the ground while a white police officer kneels over him, the officer’s knee directly over the man’s neck.

“I can’t breathe,” the man repeatedly calls in the video.

Bystanders can be heard calling for the officers to check the man’s pulse or to get off of him.

“My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts,” the man says. “Water or something, please. I can’t breathe.”

The Minneapolis Police Department said in a statement that officers were called to a forgery in process around 8 p.m. Monday, with a suspect “sitting on top of a blue car and appeared to be under the influence.”

Two officers arrived at the scene and found the man sitting in his car. He got out and “physically resisted officers,” according to the MPD.

“Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress,” the department said.

Around the 7-minute mark in the video, paramedics arrive and check the man’s pulse, then load him into an ambulance.

He died at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Police said no weapons were used by the officers or the suspect “in this incident.”

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said at a press conference Tuesday morning that the arrest was “wrong on every level.”

“If you’re sad, I get it, if you’re angry, that makes complete sense, if you feel the need to protest, of course, we want to make sure people are able to express themselves,” Frey said.

Frey advised anyone planning on protesting should continue social distancing in light of the coronavirus pandemic, citing the “need to make sure everyone voicing their opinion is staying safe.”

“Being Black in America should not be a death sentence,” the mayor said in a statement on Facebook. “For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a Black man’s neck. Five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, you’re supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic, human sense. What happened on Chicago and 38th last night is awful. It was traumatic. It serves as a reminder of how far we have to go.

“All I keep coming back to is this: this man should not have died. What we saw is horrible. Completely and utterly messed up. The man’s life matters. He matters. He was someone son. Someone’s family member. Someone’s friend. He was a human being and his life mattered.”

A Facebook event for the protest, scheduled for Tuesday at 5 p.m. CDT, accused the police of “diabolical behavior” in an “egregious and violent incident.”

“We are gathering at the site of the victim’s death, at the intersection of 38th and Chicago Ave in Minneapolis, to demand justice for the victim and his family,” the event description reads. “We demand for the names of the officers in question to be released; and for those officers to be fired swiftly and criminally charged for their murderous conduct.”

Both officers involved in the arrest have been “relieved of duty status” but will still be paid, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Tuesday.

Both the FBI and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension have been called in to help investigate the arrest.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. As a Police Officer myself, they should charge every one of them with murder. Let him be a Punk in prison. He was just trying to show off his Authority. So sad. Situations like this is what makes it hard on Good Officers.

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