Federal authorities are investigating at least one Minneapolis Police Department officer on a possible civil rights violation after a video featuring a man's gruesome detainment went viral.
Officers responded to a scene for a "forgery in progress" on Monday. After engaging with the suspect, an officer ended up pinning the man to the ground with his knee. WCCO-TV reported that the man — later identified as 40-year-old George Floyd — allegedly attempted to use "forged documents" to pay for food at a nearby market.
The man, who appeared to be in medical distress on the viral video, later died.
Four officers, including the officer cited on a possible civil rights violation, were involved in the incident.
What are the details?
In a Tuesday news conference, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said, "I believe what I saw, and what I saw was wrong at every level."
A clearly emotional Frey added, "Being black in America should not be a death sentence. For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a black man's neck. Five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, you're supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic, human sense. What happened on Chicago and 38th last night is awful. It was traumatic. It serves as a reminder of how far we have to go."
He added, "Whatever the investigation reveals, it does not change the simple truth, [the man] should still be with us this morning."
Frey also addressed the matter on Twitter, writing, "Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated. This is the right call."
Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated. This is the right call.— Mayor Jacob Frey (@Mayor Jacob Frey)1590520158.0
Benjamin Crump, an attorney representing the late man's family, says that the decedent suffered at the hands of inhuman officers.
“We all watched the horrific death of George Floyd on video as witnesses begged the police officer to take him into the police car and get off his neck," Crump said in a statement. “This abusive, excessive and inhumane use of force cost the life of a man who was being detained by the police for questioning about a non-violent charge."
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said that the "most veteran prosecutors" are helping with the investigation in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney's Office.
"We promise a thorough, expedited review consistent with our on-going commitment to justice," Freeman's statement read. "Every person is entitled to fairness; no person stands above the law."
Minneapolis Mayor emotional after man dies while being restrained by officer www.youtube.com
WCCO reported that protesters had begun to gather outside of Minneapolis' 3rd Precinct on Lake Street Tuesday afternoon.
The station reported that another protest is planned for Tuesday evening at the scene of the incident.
A makeshift memorial appeared on Tuesday following breaking news of Floyd's death.
The evening's protest has been organized by the Minneapolis NAACP, Communities Against Police Brutality, and Black Lives Matter Twin Cities, along with other local grassroots organizations.