The Mayor of Minneapolis says he believes George Floyd would still be alive today if he were white, as it’s revealed the 46-year-old black man was arrested and pinned to the ground by cops for allegedly trying to pay at a local deli with a counterfeit $20 bill.
Floyd, a father of two, died on Monday night after a white police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes in an incident that was captured on video and has sparked violent protests and riots around the country.
In widely circulated footage of his arrest, Floyd was seen on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back as white officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the pavement until he lost consciousness.
His limp body was later seen being placed onto a stretcher and taken to the hospital where he died shortly after.
In an interview with CBS This Morning on Thursday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said he considers Floyd’s death a murder.
‘I’m not a prosecutor, but let me be clear. The arresting officer killed someone,’ he said.
In an interview with CBS This Morning on Thursday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said he considers his death a murder
Mayor Jacob Frey has called for the white officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck to be criminally charged on Wednesday. Derek Chauvin (pictured) was identified by Floyd family’s attorney or other sources as the officer pinning him down in video footage that was widely shared on Tuesday
‘He’d be alive today if he were white.’
‘The facts that I’ve seen, which are minimal, certainly lead me down the path that race was involved.’
The mayor’s comments come a day after he publicly called for the police officer involved in Floyd’s death to be arrested and criminally charged.
The white cop who was seen in footage kneeling on Floyd’s death was later identified online as Derek Chauvin.
All four officers involved in the fatal arrest were fired on Tuesday and have been identified as Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J Alexander Kueng.
‘If most people, particularly people of color, had done what a police officer did late Monday, they’d already be behind bars,’ Frey said on Wednesday.
‘That’s why today I’m calling on Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to charge the arresting officer in this case.’
Minneapolis Department Police Chief John Elder confirmed in a midnight press conference that one person was shot and killed and that another person was being held in custody. Pictured: Scores of people were seen in the streets as fires raged around them amid conflicts with police
Frey pointed out that most civilians would already be in jail if they had done with police officer was seen doing in the video
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who said firing the police officers was the ‘right call,’ is now asking for the white cop who knelt on George Floyd’s neck to be arrested and charged
‘I’ve wrestled with, more than anything else over the last 36 hours, one fundamental question: “Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?”.
He later added: ‘I saw no threat. I saw nothing that would signal that this kind of force was necessary.’
Floyd’s arrest and subsequent death is now under investigation by the FBI and has prompted thousands of protesters to take to the streets to demand justice.
The case has been compared to the 2014 killing of Eric Garner, a black man who died in New York after a white police officer placed him in a chokehold, and has sparked outrage among the community as well as celebrities and public figures.
Chaos and disruption continued in Minneapolis on Wednesday night as protests entered their second day and tensions mounted between protesters and law enforcement.
The demonstrations took a violent turn when a suspected looter was shot dead outside a pawn shop. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, about 1,000 protesters spilled onto the streets calling for justice over Floyd’s death.
Cops were reported to have located Floyd in his car near 38th and Chicago Ave in south Minneapolis on Monday, after receiving calls of a ‘forgery in progress,’ the Minneapolis Police Department said in a statement.
A police spokesman alleged Floyd got out of the car before ‘physically resisting officers’.
However, additional video footage, obtained by FOX 9 on Wednesday, shed light on the moments leading up to Floyd’s arrest, showing two officers manhandling and forcibly removing him from his vehicle as he is placed in handcuffs.
Floyd appears to be complying with officers and not resisting arrest before an altercation ensues.
Additional CCTV footage from a nearby restaurant also showed parts of the altercation between Floyd and officers on the sidewalk.
The new videos offer further insight into Floyd’s death, which has sparked outrage and questions overs officers’ alleged use of force on a suspect accused of a non-violent offense.
An initial statement released by the Minneapolis Police Department on Tuesday did not include details of officers’ altercation with Floyd and only mentioned he had suffered ‘medical distress’ following the arrest.
Protesters began gathering in the early afternoon near the city’s 3rd Precinct station, in the southern part of the city where 46-year-old George Floyd died on Memorial Day after an officer knelt on his neck until he became unresponsive.
News helicopter footage showed protesters milling in streets near the city’s 3rd Precinct station, with some running in and out of nearby stores. A Target, a Cub Foods, a Dollar Tree and an auto parts store all showed signs of damage and looting. As darkness fell, fire erupted in the auto parts store, and city fire crews rushed to control it. Protesters set other fires in the street.
Officers could be seen surrounding the nearby precinct, not attempting to intervene in the looting.
Multiple fires burned early Thursday at buildings and smoke hung over the city. Fire crews worked to put out flames. Blocks of buildings with broken-out windows and other damage from looting were seen, and KSTP-TV reported that some people were seen going through buildings.