Four Minneapolis police officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been fired after video of the incident sparked outrage in Minnesota and across the country, leading to protests in the city.
As FOX 9 Minneapolis reported, the decision to fire the four officers involved was announced by Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo at a press conference on Tuesday. Floyd had died on Monday after being taken into police custody. Video released shortly after the incident showed a police officer pressing a knee onto Floyd’s neck as the man laid handcuffed on the ground.
Floyd at times appeared to be begging for help, saying that he could not breathe, but the officer allegedly remained above him as bystanders yelled and pleaded with them to stop. The officer continued to press a knee onto the man’s neck after he became unresponsive, keeping him pinned until an ambulance arrived.
Reports have indicated that Floyd was not armed, and not accused of a violent crime, though it was not clear what transpired before the footage started with Floyd on the ground and the officer’s knee on his neck.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said on Tuesday that he “100 percent” supported the police chief’s move, saying that the incident went against the ideals of the city and the training that law enforcement officers had been given.
“It is the right decision for our city. It is the right decision for our community. It is the right decision for our Minneapolis Police Department,” he said.
As CBS Minnesota reported, the FBI is now investigating the incident.
Police had initially announced that Floyd had a medical event during the attempted arrest, but this was met with outrage by many who called for action against the officers involved, which included the officer who held Floyd down by the neck and others who did nothing to help him. Many local leaders have spoken out, including Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar. She put out a statement calling for the Department of Justice to investigate Floyd’s death.
“It is sickening to watch this black man be killed while helplessly begging for help,” the congresswoman said, via CBS Minnesota.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz also put out a statement demanding justice for Floyd’s death.
“The lack of humanity in this disturbing video is sickening. We will get answers and seek justice,” Walz and Lt. Gov.Peggy Flanagan said in a statement, as quoted by CBS Minnesota.