Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said that all four officers involved in the arrest of George Floyd bear responsibility for his death. This statement comes amid growing cries for the other officers to follow Derek Chauvin in being arrested for his killing.
Chauvin was seen on video pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck and keeping it there as the detained man pleaded that he could not breathe. Chauvin was arrested on murder charges last week after several days of escalating protests, but the three other officers seen helping hold Floyd to the ground and keeping members of the public back from the scene have not been arrested. Floyd’s death has set off a week of protests in Minnesota and across the country.
In an interview with CNN’s Sara Sidner, the Minneapolis police chief said that the officers who could have stopped Chauvin but didn’t bear the same responsibility for his death.
“Mr. Floyd died in our hands and so I see that as being complicit,” he said. “Silence and inaction, you’re complicit. If there was one solitary voice that would have intervened… that’s what I would have hoped for.”
Though Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday, none of the other officers have faced charges. The growing national protests have called for their arrests, as have a number of top local and state officials. On Sunday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said he believed it was warranted for the other three to be arrested but said it would ultimately be up to prosecutors to make the decision. All of the officers involved in Floyd’s arrest were fired a day after his death.
Arradondo apologized to Floyd’s family in a statement on Thursday, taking responsibility for the pain that his department had caused both to the family and the community.
“I am absolutely sorry for the pain, the devastation and trauma that Mr. Floyd’s death has left on his family, his loved ones, our community in Minneapolis, and certainly across the country and the world,” Arradondo said, via CBS News.
Arradondo also committed that police would help ensure that people could gather and protest peacefully, but the demonstrations grew increasingly violent. Late on Thursday night, protesters broke into the precinct building where the arresting officers were stationed and set it on fire. Curfews were put in place for the Twin Cities on Friday, but demonstrations continued throughout the weekend.