Four officers in the American city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, have been fired after George Floyd, a black man they arrested, died in hospital on Monday. This was announced by a visibly emotional mayor, Jacob Frey.
Video footage shows an agent cramped with his knee on the neck of the man, George Floyd, for minutes, even though he shouts that he is not breathing, and bystanders urge the officer to take his knee off from him.
“Being black in America shouldn’t be a death sentence,” said the mayor. “For five minutes, we watched a white police officer press his knee into a black man’s neck. Five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, you have to help. He should not have died. What we saw was horrible and completely insane,” said Frey at a news conference.
He later announced via Twitter that the police officers were fired. “This is the right decision.”
The officers were notified on Monday evening that someone was suspected of forging and found Floyd in his car. The suspect got out, and there was a struggle with the police.
When they handcuffed him, he turned out to be in medical distress. An ambulance took him to the hospital where he died a short time later, police said.
Images, however, show the man being held back for minutes by a cop placed his knee in Floyd’s neck. Even when bystanders urge the officer to stop, shouting that the suspect has become unconscious and bleeds from his nose, the officer remains on Floyd.
“You already control him, and he doesn’t even resist. At least let him breathe. He is also human. Your body language betrays that you enjoy this too much,” it sounds.
The US Federal Investigation Service FBI is investigating the man’s death, a statement by the Minneapolis Police Department.
Thousands of protesters on the move
Thousands of protesters ran into Minneapolis yesterday in response to Floyd’s death. Clashes with the police occurred around 8 p.m. local time. According to local media, agents deployed tear gas and fired rubber bullets. Whether victims have fallen is unknown.
Of all Americans, black men are the most likely to be killed by the police. For them, the risk is 1 in 1,000, two and a half times higher than for white men.
Police brutality is one of the leading causes of death in the country, especially for young black men. That appears to be a study published last year by scientists from three American universities, including Rutgers University.
In recent years, police have been involved in a series of shootings that killed black men. This led to massive protests in the US and the formation of the protest movement Black Lives Matter. That group wants to end police brutality against black people.