'I can’t breathe’: Protests erupt after video emerges of black man pleading with police officer before his death

Sanjana Varghese
Wednesday 27 May 2020 08:30
news

George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed after being arrested earlier this weekend.

In Minneapolis, a video emerged on social media from earlier this week which showed George Floyd, a man in his 40s, being pinned to the ground.

(Trigger warning : the footage is disturbing).

He was pinned by a white police officer who had put his knee on Floyd’s neck. In the video, Floyd can be heard pleading with the police officer and telling him that he can’t breathe, to which the police officer says:

Relax.

Bystanders in the video can be heard telling the police to stop pinning Floyd to the ground, who eventually stops moving. He died a short while after at a medical facility, and four police officers from the police department responsible have since been fired.

The Minneapolis Police Department released a statement where they said that Floyd resisted arrest, and that he was suffering medical distress. They were originally called to the scene after officers responded to a call from a grocery store which alleged that Floyd had used a forged check. They have also added that they are sharing information with the FBI.

Billy Crump, who is a prominent civil rights lawyer on retainer with the Lloyd family, said:

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.

How many 'while Black' deaths will it take until the racial profiling and undervaluing of black lives by police finally ends?

In Minneapolis last night, protesters gathered in masses about the incident. They gathered at the intersection where the incident took place to protest the city and the police’s handling of the case, as well as how this incident ties into other recent violent incidents involving the death of young black men.

Organisers urged people to stick to social distancing guidelines, and many were wearing masks.

Later reports indicate that the police used tear gas to disperse the crowds. Other reports indicate the presence of riot police during the protest.

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