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Justice for George Floyd! - Death of Black man during police arrest in Minneapolis

By The Final Call | Last updated: May 29, 2020 - 2:42:59 PM

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Residents in Minneapolis took to the streets in anger, shock and outrage in response to a viral video showing police officers on top of a Black man, one White officer with his knee visibly on the man’s neck as he pleads with them, “I can’t breathe.” George Floyd later died.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI have been called in to investigate the incident and the four officers involved have been fired but critics argue that is not enough.

“The man complained that he could not breathe, while bystanders pleaded with the officer to relent. He did not. The 40-something man, George Floyd, died minutes later at Hennepin County Medical Center. The incident took place on Memorial Day after 7 pm in front of Cup Foods, near the corner of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in South Minneapolis,” reported The Minnesota Spokesman Recorder.

According to media reports, police said they were responding to a call May 25 about an alleged forgery and were told a person later described as Mr. Floyd was sitting on top of a vehicle and that he appeared to be under the influence. Police allege Mr. Floyd physically resisted when they attempted to detain him. Officers handcuffed Mr. Floyd and the video shows him laying flat on the street with his arms behind his back repeatedly begging the officers for his life.

“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,” said Attorney Ben Crump in an official statement. The well-known civil rights attorney has been retained by Mr. Floyd’s family.

“We will seek justice for the family of George Floyd, as we demand answers from the Minnesota Police Department. How many ‘while black’ deaths will it take until the racial profiling and undervaluing of black lives by police finally ends?” the statement continued.

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Video capture of White Minneapolis police officer with his knee on George Floyd's neck.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called the incident, “utterly messed up,” and called the firing of the four officers involved “the right call.”

Others argue simply firing the officers is not enough and are calling for them to be charged with murder and stripped of their police pensions.

“He was a very loving person and he did not deserve what happened to him,” said Mr. Floyd’s cousin Tera Brown to CNN’s Don Lemon. “Firing them is a good start but we want to see justice for our family. We want to see them charged…what they did was murder,” she added. “They need to pay for what they did. He didn’t deserve what happened to him,” said Ms. Brown.

“They could have tasered him, they could have maced him; instead they put their knee in his neck and just sat on him and then carried on. He screamed ‘mama, mama, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’ and they didn’t care. I just don’t understand what more we’ve got to go through in life man! They didn’t have to do that to him. He’s a gentle giant,” said Philonise Floyd, George’s brother. “They didn’t care, they treated him worse than animals.”

Tributes to George Floyd and anger about what happened flooded social media. “My heart can’t take it, seeing what’s happened to #GeorgeFloyd. This is eerily similar to the death of #EricGarner. There has to be a stopping point in the process of arresting someone. It’s all senseless,” posted singer Ciara on Twitter.

“It won’t be long before we hear about every mistake #GeorgeFloyd has ever made in his life as a means of deflection. The character assassination that always follows seeks to sedate our conscience so that we ingest the idea that the victim is not worthy of our love and outrage,” commented @omarsuleiman504.

“There is no difference between lynching a man and putting your knee on his throat and choking him until he dies. The #MinneapolisPoliceMurderdHim. They lynched #GeorgeFloyd. Firing them? WHERE IS THE MURDER CHARGE? Where is JUSTICE? THIS. WAS A LYNCHING,” wrote author Don Winslow.

Stay tuned for additional coverage in an upcoming issue of The Final Call.