Four Minneapolis Police officers have been fired after video surfaced of an officer kneeling on a black man’s neck while he pleads that he can’t breathe, ultimately resulting in his death.
The incredibly disturbing video shows the man, identified as George Floyd, being apprehended by police officers in downtown Minneapolis on Monday night. “Please, please, please I can’t breathe, please man,” the man is heard wailing on the video, which was recorded by a bystander. A police officer is seen with his knee directly on Floyd’s neck, pinning him to the ground, as bystanders beg for him to stop. “He’s not even resisting arrest right now, bro,” one is heard saying, as another comments that Floyd’s nose is bleeding and that he looks like he’s about to pass out.
About seven minutes into the video, Floyd is seen losing consciousness. “He’s not even fucking moving. Get off of his fucking neck,” one person yells, with other bystanders clamoring for the police to check Floyd’s pulse.
According to a police statement, officers were called on Monday night to investigate reports of a forgery and found Floyd in his car. “He was ordered to step from his car. After he got out, he physically resisted officers,” police spokesman John Elder said. “Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.” He was transported to the hospital, where he later died of his injuries.
In a post on his Facebook page, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey referred to Floyd’s death as “completely and utterly messed up.” “Whatever the investigation reveals, it does not change the simple truth, he should still be with us this morning. I believe what I saw and what I saw is wrong on every level,” he wrote before apologizing to Floyd’s family and to the black community.
“Being black in America should not be a death sentence,” Frey wrote. “When you hear someone calling for help, you are supposed to help, and this officer failed in the most basic human sense.”