MINNEAPOLIS — Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Minneapolis Tuesday evening to express their outrage after 46 year old George Floyd died after what witnesses described as a deadly encounter with police.
The unarmed Floyd was arrested Monday evening after officers responded to a call regarding an alleged forgery in progress. Cell phone video captured by bystanders shows Floyd being handcuffed and pinned to the ground as one police officer presses his knee against his neck. Several times Floyd could be heard pleading with officers that he was in pain and couldn’t breathe. Shortly after, Floyd, who had appeared to stop breathing, was taken to a nearby hospital and declared dead.
According to Minneapolis police, the encounter between Floyd and police occurred just after 8 p.m. Monday, when officers were called to the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South after store officials claimed Floyd had attempted to use forged documents at Cup Foods.
A police spokesperson said officers located Floyd sitting in a parked vehicle and that he appeared intoxicated as officers ordered him to exit the vehicle.
“After he got out, he physically resisted officers,” police spokesman John Elder told reporters early Tuesday. “Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and officers noticed that the man was going into medical distress.”
But a video posted to Facebook by witness by Darnella Frazier appears to contradict some of the officer’s claims that Floyd had resisted arrest. During the 9 minute clip Floyd repeatedly groans and says he can’t breathe while being held face down on the pavement.
“He’s not even resisting arrest right now, bro,” one bystander tells the officer and his partner, in the video. “You’re f—ing stopping his breathing right now, you think that’s cool?”
The four officers involved have been fired as a result of the footage.
“It is the right decision for our city, the right decision for our community. It is the right decision for the Minneapolis Police Department,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said at a news conference with Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. “We’ve stated our values, and ultimately we need to live by them.”