On Monday, George Floyd, a Black man, was pinned down and killed by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer. The incident has since drawn outrage from community members and leaders and has led to the officers’ termination.
The footage released shows Chauvin pinning Floyd down with his knee into the pavement for several minutes after the police were reportedly on duty responding to a “report of a forgery in progress.”
According to a statement made by the Minneapolis Police Department, “After [the suspect] got out [of his car], he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and note he appeared to be suffering medical distress.”
Throughout the video Floyd can be heard begging, “Please, please, I cannot breathe.” His pleas were dismissed with Chauvin telling Floyd to “relax.” After several minutes, Floyd appears motionless while still under Chauvin’s knee.
Those watching the incident unfold can be heard yelling at the officer to move off Floyd.
“You know that’s bogus,” exclaimed one bystander.
On Tuesday, during a news conference, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said that the four officers involved in the incident had been dismissed. It was also added that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was “conducting a separate federal civil rights investigation at the request of the Minneapolis Police Department.”
The police officers involved were all wearing body cameras however, the footage has not been made publicly available.
Nekima Levy Armstrong, a local lawyer and prominent activist, wrote on Facebook describing the situation as “trauma on trauma on trauma.”
“We can’t escape police violence even in a global pandemic,” she added.
This incident comes shortly after the death of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. All incidents underline a United States phenomenon known as “living while Black.”
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