4 Cops Fired Over Death of Unarmed Black Man

Minneapolis mayor says incident was 'completely and utterly messed up'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2020 5:31 PM CDT
4 Cops Fired Over Death of Unarmed Black Man
People gather around a makeshift memorial Tuesday, May 26, 2020, in Minneapolis.   (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen)

Four Minnesota police officers involved in the death of an unarmed black man are "no longer employees," says Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. The four officers were fired after video surfaced of a white officer kneeling on the handcuffed man's neck while he repeatedly said "I can't breathe." Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey tweeted that the four officers had been "terminated" and said it was the "right call," the BBC reports. He told reporters that the Monday night incident was "completely and utterly messed up," adding: "I believe what I saw and what I saw is wrong on every level. Being black in America should not be a death sentence."

Police said the man, identified by relatives as George Floyd, was found "sitting on top of a blue car" by officers investigating a report of somebody trying to use a counterfeit bill at a nearby store. The video shows the officer kneeling on his neck as bystanders urge him to let the man breathe. Police initially claimed the man had died after suffering a medical episode while struggling with officers. "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 nonviolent charge," said a lawyer for Floyd's family, per the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Federal authorities say the officer seen in the video is being investigated for possible civil rights violations. (Read more Minneapolis stories.)

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