Four Minneapolis police officers are out of a job after the arrest of a man for a nonviolent crime lead to a man’s death. George Floyd was apprehended for forgery charges on Monday. Police say he appeared intoxicated and resisted arrest, yet after placing him in handcuffs, an officer knelt on the back of his neck for several minutes. Floyd is heard pleading for help, saying he couldn’t breathe. He later died. Mayor Jacob Frey called the incident “completely and utterly messed up” (via CBS Minnesota):
Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated.— Mayor Jacob Frey (@MayorFrey) May 26, 2020
This is the right call.
According to Minneapolis police, the encounter between Floyd and officers happened just after 8 p.m. Monday, when police were called to the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South on a report of a man attempting to use forged documents at Cup Foods.
Officers found Floyd in a car at the scene. He appeared intoxicated, police say. Officers ordered him to get out of the car.
“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.”
An ambulance brought Floyd to Hennepin Healthcare, where he later died, police say.
“He’s not even resisting arrest right now, bro,” one bystander tells the white officer and his partner, in the video. “You’re f—ing stopping his breathing right now, you think that’s cool?”
After about five minutes, Floyd stops moving and appears unconscious. People in the gathering crowd plead for the officers to check Floyd’s pulse. The officer on Floyd’s neck does not lift his knee until medical personnel arrive and carry him to an ambulance.
Now, the FBI is investigating whether Floyd’s civil rights were violated. I’m a law and order conservative. I’m firmly behind law enforcement in most cases, but this appears to be indefensible. He was handcuffed. Floyd was no longer resisting, and you keep your knee on his neck for nearly ten minutes. There are times where conservatives are hesitant to call out bad cops. Well, it looks like we have four on our hands. This isn’t the only time police in Minneapolis, or its surrounding regions have looked horrible. In 2016, a Falcon Heights police officer shot and killed Philando Castile who did nothing wrong. He was a law-abiding citizen, had a carry permit, and there was no threat to the officer based on the footage. He was reaching for his permit when he was shot and killed. The officer, Jeronimo Yanez, was fired and charged with second-degree manslaughter. He was acquitted.
In 2017, Justine Damond called 911 only to be shot and killed by former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, who was sentenced to 12.5 years behind bars for this incident in 2019 (via Associated Press):
A former Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an unarmed woman who had called 911 said Friday he “knew in an instant that I was wrong” and apologized to her family, just moments before a judge brushed off a defense request for leniency and ordered him to prison for 12½ years.
The stiff sentence for Mohamed Noor capped a case that had been fraught by race from the start. Noor, a Somali American, shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond , a white, upper-middle-class dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia, when she approached his squad car in the alley behind her home in July 2017.
Noor, 33, testified at trial that a loud bang on the squad car startled him and his partner and that he fired to protect his partner’s life. But prosecutors criticized Noor for shooting without seeing a weapon or Damond’s hands, and in April [of 2019], a jury convicted him of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
What is it with Minneapolis and hiring bad cops? We’ll see how this case plays out, but it seems to be another horrific incident for the city, the community, and its police force. I wouldn’t be shocked if murder or manslaughter charges are filed for this disastrous arrest that ended with Floyd’s death which was totally avoidable. He died over a forged document allegation. Something is not right here.
Editor's Note: Sorry, folks, the officer in Castile case was from Falcon Heights, a suburb of St. Paul. Slight error, but it's been corrected.