A wrestling coach in Washington posted a photo on Facebook appearing to mock the death of George Floyd.
George Floyd was killed by police officers in Minneapolis earlier this week. His death has sparked riots and protests in Minneapolis ever since.
In a photo posted to Facebook, Dave Hollenbeck, a wrestling coach at Bethel High School, is on the floor and smiling with someone else’s knee on his upper back. He’s also putting out a thumbs up.
In the post, he seems to be mocking the way that Floyd was killed – video footage demonstrates that a police officer had pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes. Floyd died soon after at a medical facility.
He also captioned the photo saying, “not dead yet” and claimed that he was doing this for police officers to demonstrate that the “media is a race baiting machine” and he’s “tired of it”. Those photos have since been deleted, and Hollenbeck’s Facebook page is private.
He also told KOMO News that he “had a speciality in fighting on the ground” and that he was trying to demonstrate that putting your knee on someone’s back (the police officer put a knee on Floyd’s neck) was not enough to kill someone.
“To me, I would say that not going to lead to death,” said Hollenbeck. “Now did he have other underlying issues? Maybe.”
In an interview with a local news station, KIRO-7, he said that he “did not say anything racist”, although he admitted it “was a bit insensitive at the time.”
Since the photo was posted online, Hollenbeck has faced a disciplinary inquiry at the school where he worked as a wrestling coach, and has since been fired.