Video shows Minneapolis police officer with knee on neck of suspect who died after arrest

"I can't breathe."

WCCO Radio Newsroom
May 26, 2020 - 5:04 am
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The FBI is investigating along with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension after a man died shortly after police tried to arrest him Monday night in Minneapolis.

According to Minneapolis Police, they responded to the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South on a report of a forgery around 8 p.m. Monday. They were told a suspect was sitting on top of a blue car and appeared to be under the influence.

Two officers located a male suspect, believed to be in his 40s, in his car. The suspect got out of his car following police orders and allegedly physically resisted officers.

When police got the man into handcuffs, they noticed the man was suffering "medical distress". The man was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.

No weapons were used during the arrest. Police were wearing body cameras that were on and activated during the arrest.

A video captured by Darnella Frazier shows a Minneapolis police officer's knee on the neck of the man who eventually becomes motionless. The man is heard throughout the video telling the officers that cannot breathe. 

Attorney Benjamin Crump has named the victim as George Floyd. Crump issued a statement saying Floyd's family has retained him.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey addressed the incident in a Tuesday morning news conference. He was visibly shaken and said:

"For the better part of the night I have been trying to find the words to describe what happened and all I keep coming back to is that he should not have died. What we saw was horrible. Completely and utterly messed up. This man's life matters. He matters. He was someones son. Someones family member. Someones friend. He was a human being and his life mattered. Whatever the investigation reveals it does not change the simple truth that he should be with us this morning. I beleive what I saw and what I saw was wrong at every level. Being black in America should not be a death sentence." 

Frey continued saying that this incident does not represent the values of the Minneapolis Police Department. The Mayor explained that this went against everything their officers were trained to do. 

"When you hear someone calling for help, you are supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic human sense. What happened on Chicago and 38th this last night is simply awful. It serves as a clear reminder of just how far we have to go. To the black community, to the family, I'm so sorry."

St. Paul Melvin Carter tweeted a statement saying that this type of police behavior has to stop.

Notably, 'I can't breathe' became a rallying cry in the battle against police brutality after those were the final words of Eric Garner who died after he was put in a chokehold by an NYPD officer in 2014.  After Garner's death,  'I can't breathe' protests erupted across the country.

UPDATE - 2:25 PM: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has announced that the four responding officers that were involved in the call have been terminated. 

 

 

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