After four police officers were fired over the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Floyd’s family said those consequences are not nearly enough. They want the officers involved charged with murder.
“Firing them is a good start, but we want to see justice for our family,” Floyd’s cousin Tera Brown told CNN’s Don Lemon. “We want to see them charged. We want to have them arrested.” This was a murder, she said.
Brown was joined in the interview by Floyd’s two brothers.
“They took a life, and now they deserve life,” said Philonise Floyd. “I don’t feel sorry for them. They hurt me and they hurt my family.”
George Floyd died after an incident that was caught on tape Monday. An officer with the Minneapolis Police Department (later identified as Derek Chauvin) kneeled on Floyd’s neck. Floyd was clearly distressed, saying that he couldn’t breathe, and pleaded for the cop to get off his neck.
“I can’t breathe,” he said.
Bystanders demanded that the police officer get off of his neck.
“You could’ve put him in the fucking car by now, bro,” said one man. “He’s not resisting arrest or nothing.” He accused the officer of enjoying this.
By now, Floyd had stopped moving. Bystanders said he’d passed out, and demanded that cops check Floyd’s pulse. A second officer at the scene (later identified as Tou Thao) stood in the way of them.
“Did they just kill him?” said a woman.
An EMT arrived at the scene. Officials dragged Floyd’s limp body onto a gurney and into the ambulance. Bystanders said the police had just killed him.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced on Tuesday that the four responding officers had been fired. Only Chauvin and Thao were identified.
Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated.
This is the right call.
— Mayor Jacob Frey (@MayorFrey) May 26, 2020
The incident landed squarely on a cultural fissure, and fueled an ongoing debate on how police officers treat people of color, especially black men. Floyd was black. Chauvin is white. Thao is Asian. Police have said that the officers were investigating an alleged forgery.
The two officers were identified by a “source with knowledge of the investigation” cited by KSTP.
Tom Kelly, an attorney for Chauvin, declined to comment in an Associated Press report.
“Now is not the time rush to judgement and immediately condemn our officers,” said Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, in a WCCO report. “An in-depth investigation is underway. Our officers are fully cooperating. We must review all video. We must wait for the medical examiner’s report.”
[Screengrab via CNN]
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