During a press conference on Wednesday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said that the arresting officer involved in the death of George Floyd should be charged with a crime, CBS Minnesota reported. He called on Hennepin County, Minnesota, Attorney Mike Freeman to press charges.
Frey told reporters that after watching the video of the incident, he didn’t believe that Floyd had been resisting arrest or that the situation necessitated the force used by the officer involved in the incident. He also stressed that the restraint technique used by the officer — kneeling on Floyd’s neck — was not allowed to be used under any circumstances.
“We watched for five whole excruciating minutes as a white officer firmly pressed his knee into the neck of an unarmed, handcuffed black man. I saw no threat. I saw nothing that would signal that this kind of force was necessary. By the way, that particular technique that was used is not authorized by the MPD… And it should not be used, period.”
The mayor told reporters that he felt compelled to speak out about the incident because there haven’t been any arrests stemming from it, CBS Minnesota reported. He pointed out that if anyone other than a police officer had caused death by using this type of force they would already have been arrested and incarcerated, intimating that the only reason an arrest had not been made was that the person involved was a member of law enforcement.
Frey went on to say that the officer did not make a “split-second decision” that resulted in Floyd’s death, the outlet added. He insisted that the officer had plenty of time to change his mind, to prevent Floyd from dying.
“The officer could have turned back… he could have removed his knee from George Floyd’s neck… he could have listened to the community around him, clearly saying he needed to stop, every one of which you heard George Floyd himself articulating the pain he was feeling, an inability to breathe,” the mayor said.
— esme murphy (@esmemurphy) May 27, 2020
Floyd was arrested on Monday evening for a non-violent crime. The four officers involved said that Floyd had resisted arrest, prompting the arresting officer to restrain him by kneeling on his neck. A video of the arrest emerged on Tuesday, which showed the arresting officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes even as he pleaded for help and bystanders told the officer to stop. The footage showed that none of the other officers at the scene intervened.
The clip, as well as the new videos that have since been released, sparked public outrage and calls for the law enforcement officers to be charged with murder.