UPDATE: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced on Tuesday afternoon that four officers involved in the death of George Floyd were terminated.
A Minnesota man named George Floyd died Monday after a bystander video showed him begging for air while a police officer held a knee to his neck.
According to a statement by the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), officers responded to reports of a forgery and were advised that the suspect appeared to be under the influence. Floyd was sitting in his car when officers arrived on the scene and commanded him to exit his vehicle. The statement says that Floyd got out of his car, physically resisted the officers, and was handcuffed. It was then that officers noticed that Floyd "appeared to be suffering medical distress." (The statement does not provide further detail.)
But a bystander captured 10 minutes of the interaction on video. When the video starts, an MPD officer is seen pressing his knee into the side of Floyd's neck while he's on the ground and handcuffed.
Floyd is heard pleading with the officer, repeatedly saying, "I can't breathe," "My neck hurts," and "They gone kill me." He continues to move his head, presumably in an attempt to breathe.
"You got him down, man! Let him breathe at least," a bystander is heard saying in the background. Another comments that his nose is bleeding. Others ask how long the officers plan to keep him on the ground and question the decision to keep him pinned by the neck.
At one point, another officer on the scene responds to the criticisms, saying that they tried to put Floyd in the police vehicle "for 10 minutes."
About four minutes in, Floyd stops moving. That's when the officer whose knee is pressed to Floyd's neck pulls out what bystanders identify as mace and the other officer on scene moves to get between the officer and the crowd.
The bystanders continue to tell the officers that Floyd isn't responding and urge them to check his pulse. The officer continues to keep his knee pressed to Floyd's neck until emergency medical services arrive, which was called by the officers.
Forgery is NOT a crime punishable by death. This is not only #POLICEBRUTALITY, it is MURDER! First Eric Garner, now this. We must put an end to the senseless killing of our Black men! #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/oIgyohfDLL
— Benjamin Crump, Esq. (@AttorneyCrump) May 26, 2020
Floyd was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center. He died shortly after.
MPD confirmed that neither Floyd nor the officers used weapons in the incident, that the officers were not injured, and that the officers involved were wearing body cameras, which were activated at the time.
MPD has requested that the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigate the incident. The FBI will also be part of the investigation.
"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," Crump said in a statement.