The death of a suspect during an arrest in which a Minneapolis officer put his knee on the back of the man's neck to pin him to the ground has resulted in the firing of four officers and civil unrest in the city.
A civilian captured video of the arrest in south Minneapolis Monday night. During the incident the man, identified as 46-year-old George Floyd, can be heard telling officers that he "can't breathe." The officer's kept him pinned to the ground for minutes, according to the video.
Floyd was a suspect in a forgery incident at a nearby grocery store, police say.
Thousands flooded the streets Tuesday afternoon to protest Floyd’s death, CBS reports.
At about 6 p.m., the protest turned into a march towards the 3rd Precinct, where it is believed that the as yet officially unidentified officers worked. Some protesters started vandalizing the building, shattering a window and spray painting squad cars.
Officers responded in riot gear, and deployed chemical irritants and flash grenades as protesters hurled rocks, water bottles at the officers.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has called on Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to charge the officer involved in the incident that led to the death of George Floyd.
The mayor did not say what charges he wants the officer to face, KTSP reports.
The family of George Floyd wants the officer charged with murder.
All body camera footage in the Minneapolis case has been turned over to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the agency asked to speak with anyone who saw the arrest or recorded video, CBS reports.
In Minneapolis, kneeling on a suspect’s neck is allowed under the department’s use-of-force policy for officers who have received training in how to compress a neck without applying direct pressure to the airway. It is considered a “non-deadly force option,” according to the department’s policy handbook.
The Minneapolis police union asked the public to wait for the investigation to take its course and not to “rush to judgment and immediately condemn our officers.” The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, which would handle any prosecution of police on state charges, said in a statement that it was “shocked and saddened” by the video and pledged to handle the case fairly. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota declined comment.
The FBI is investigating the incident.