Family of black man George Floyd call for cops to be charged with murder after four were fired over video of white officer kneeling on his neck during arrest – as attorney says it’s worse than Eric Garner
- George Floyd’s family have told how they watched the footage on TV before realizing it was their ‘baby cousin’
- Ben Crump, the family attorney, has demanded officers face murder charges over the killing of Floyd
- Crump said it was ‘worse than Eric Garner’ – the black man who died after being held in a police chokehold
- A video emerged Monday showing white cop Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck during his arrest
- Floyd was heard repeatedly telling cops he was in pain and could not breathe before losing consciousness
- Minneapolis Police Department confirmed the man later died in the hospital and four officers have been fired
- FBI and state authorities are now investigating the man’s death
The heartbroken family of black man George Floyd have called for cops to be charged with murder after four were fired over the video of a white officer kneeling on his neck during his arrest.
Two of George Floyd’s cousins said the firing of the officers was just ‘a start’ after watching footage of the shocking incident and the cops ‘murdered our cousin’.
The family’s lawyer has called for white cop Derek Chauvin to be charged with murder and the other three officers involved charged as murder accomplices as he revealed Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for a staggering eight minutes and blasted the case as ‘worse than Eric Garner’.
Floyd was filmed Monday begging the Minneapolis cop to stop and telling him he could not breathe before he lost consciousness and later died after officers arrested him for allegedly trying to use forged documents at a local deli.
Four members of the Minneapolis Police Department who were involved in Monday’s incident have now been fired, and the FBI and state law enforcement authorities have launched an investigation into the man’s death.
The heartbroken family of black man George Floyd (pictured) who died in police custody after a white cop was filmed pinning him to the ground by his neck have said the firing of four police officers involved is only ‘a start’ to getting justice
Floyd was filmed Monday begging the Minneapolis cop to stop and telling him he could not breathe before he lost consciousness and later died
Floyd’s devastated family have now broken their silence over his death in an interview with TMX.news, where they told how they watched the horrific footage on TV before realizing it was their ‘baby cousin’.
‘I actually saw it before knowing it was my cousin – I saw it on Gayle King,’ said Shareeduh Tate.
‘And I remember thinking how devastating this would be for the family who have lost their family member like this… then about five minutes after that I got a phone call saying that it was my cousin.’
She thanked the bystanders who were heard in the footage urging the police to stop what they were doing and warning them that they were killing Floyd.
‘I can’t thank them enough. We always see these kinds of things take place and we always wonder what we would do in that position and we’re so grateful… and even more so grateful for the person who was there with a camera to capture it as so many times there is not a witness around and it’s questionable as to what has happened,’ Tate said.
Floyd’s other cousin Tera Brown called the footage ‘unbelievable’.
‘It’s unbelievable to see someone suffering in the way that he did,’ she said. ‘And to have so many people around asking for them to basically allow him to live.’
His devastated family have now broken their silence over his death in an interview with TMX.news, where his cousins Tera Brown (left) and Shareeduh Tate (right) told how they watched the video not realizing it was their ‘baby cousin’
Tate said the firing of the four police officers was ‘a start’ but is ‘definitely not enough’ as she blasted the authorities for ‘murdering’ the father-of-one.
‘They murdered our cousin,’ she said.
Brown described him as ‘the cousin that everybody loved’ who was ‘always happy’ and a ‘jokester’.
‘He was everybody’s favorite everything – he was the favorite friend, the favorite cousin,’ she added.
She said news of his death has been especially hard on Floyd’s daughter who she said is ‘not doing well’.
Ben Crump, the attorney for the victim’s family has demanded officers face murder charges over the killing and said this is ‘worse than Eric Garner’ because the officers held Floyd down by the neck for a staggering eight minutes.
Ben Crump, the attorney for the victim’s family has demanded officers face prosecution over the killing and saying this is ‘worse than Eric Garner’ because the officers held Floyd down by the neck for a staggering eight minutes
Crump pointed to the similarities in the case with the death of unarmed black man Garner who died in 2014 after he was placed in a chokehold by New York City police and pleaded for his life, saying he could not breathe.
Parallels have already been drawn between the two cases but Crump described Floyd’s death as even ‘worse’.
‘I mean it was 8 minutes. It is in many ways worse than Eric Garner as they have his knees on his neck and he is begging, pleading for not one minute, not two minutes, not three minutes but eight minutes – begging them to let him breathe so we have “we can’t breathe” again in 2020,’ he said.
‘It just takes you back to Eric Garner and now we have another black man saying to police “I can’t breathe” and them not offering any humanity.’
Crump said news that the officers had been fired was a ‘good first step’ but said it does not go far enough to getting justice for the dead man.
‘I think the officer should be charged with murder,’ Crump told TMX.news, about Derek Chauvin, who has been identified as the cop who held Floyd down by the neck.
‘It was clear that he was begged by public bystanders to take his knee off George’s neck.’
Crump also called for the other officers involved to be charged as accomplices to murder.
‘They were supposed to protect and serve citizens like George. We in black America, we are done dying at the hands of the people that are supposed to protect and serve us,’ he said.
Disturbing footage captured by a bystander shows the moment a white Minneapolis police officer pins a black man to the ground with his knees during an arrest on Monday
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced Tuesday that four officers are now ‘former employees’ of the force.
‘We know there are inherent dangers in the profession of policing but the vast majority of the work we do never require the use of force,’ Arradondo said.
The names of the four fired cops have not been released, however two officers seen in the video were identified by Floyd’s family’s lawyer as officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao.
The two were filmed in a video taken by a bystander on Monday which showed Floyd struggling to breathe on the ground as a white cop kneeled on his neck for several minutes.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey responded to the four officers’ termination on Twitter saying the move was ‘the right call.’
Floyd, who was arrested on suspicion of forgery on Monday night, was heard repeatedly telling officers that he could not breathe as he lay on the ground next to the tire of a squad car.
The man, unresponsive and handcuffed, is then placed on a stretcher before being transported to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he died shortly after
The incident has drawn comparisons to the case of Eric Garner (pictured) an unarmed New York man who died in 2014 after he was placed in a chokehold by police and pleaded for his life saying he couldn’t breathe
‘Please, please, please, I can’t breathe. Please, man,’ Floyd, who is shirtless, begs the cop.
The officer repeatedly tells him ‘Well get up and get in the car then,’ while he continues to pin Floyd to the ground.
Floyd responds ‘I will’ but the cop continues to hold him to the ground by his neck.
‘My stomach hurts, my neck hurts, everything hurts,’ Floyd is heard gasping at one point, before saying he needs water.
After several minutes, one of the officers tells him to ‘relax.’
‘Man, I can’t breathe,’ Floyd responds, before eventually passing out.
A number of politicians and public figures have since spoken out against the incident on social media, calling for the police officers involved to be held accountable.
Floyd was identified as the victim on Tuesday by Crump, a prominent civil rights and personal injury attorney who said he had been hired by Floyd’s family.
Crump is also representing the family of 25-year-old black man Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot and killed by two white men in Georgia earlier this month.
‘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,’ Crump said in a statement.
‘We will seek justice for the family of George Floyd, as we demand answers from the Minnesota Police Department. How many “while black” deaths will it take until the racial profiling and undervaluing of black lives by police finally ends?’
The black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on Monday has been identified as George Floyd on social media. The attorney representing Floyd’s family Benjamin Crump tweeted this photo of the victim on Tuesday, calling for police officers to be brought to justice
Floyd, seen in a Facebook photo, was arrested on suspicion of forgery, however details of his alleged offense or what he was doing in the lead up to his arrest were not released
Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family of 25-year-old slain black man Ahmaud Arbery, has been hired to represent Floyd’s family. Crump identified Floyd as the victim on Tuesday, as well as the two officers officers involved in the incident
When asked by reporters about the use of the knee on the man’s neck, Chief Arradondo said the department has ‘policies in place regarding placing someone under control’ that ‘will be part of the full investigation we’ll do internally.’
The Minneapolis Police Department released a statement earlier this morning confirming Floyd died in hospital after officers had responded to a ‘forgery in progress.’
They did not release details on Floyd’s alleged offense or what he had been doing in the lead up to his attempted arrest.
According to CBS Local, he was apprehended outside Cup Foods grocery store around 8pm after he allegedly tried to use forged documents at a deli.
Police found the man, believed to be in his 40s, matching the suspect’s description in his car.
‘He was ordered to step from his car. After he got out, he physically resisted officers,’ police spokesman John Elder claimed in a statement.
‘Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.’
He was taken by ambulance to Hennepin County Medical Center where he died a short time later, police said.
But in the footage, shared by onlooker Darnella Frazier, the arresting police officer was seen pinning Floyd to the ground for more than six minutes as he pleaded with officers to release him.
‘Please, please, please, I can´t breathe. Please, man,’ the man is heard telling the officer.
Despite his pleas and agonizing screams, the officer continued to kneel on the man’s neck for several minutes.
Multiple witnesses were also heard arguing with the two cops over their excessive use of force.
THE 2014 DEATH OF ERIC GARNER
Eric Garner, was killed in 2014, after NYPD officers placed him in a lethal chokehold during his arrest
Eric Garner, 43, died on July 17, 2014, after NYPD officers placed him in a fatal chokehold during his arrest.
Video footage of the incident and Garner’s subsequent death sparked national outcry over police brutality towards the black community.
Police had suspected Garner of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes on the street in Staten Island.
The confrontation was caught on amateur video, including Garner’s words ‘I can’t breathe,’ which become a rallying cry among protesters.
The city medical examiner’s office later ruled Garner’s death a homicide caused by neck compressions from a chokehold.
In 2019, the New York Police Department began disciplinary proceedings against White police officer Daniel Pantaleo, but the trial did not result in any charges.
Pantaleo was fired from the NYPD in August 2019.
‘Bro, you’ve got him down at least let him breathe, man,’ a male onlooker says.
‘He’s not even resisting arrest … he’s human, bro.’
One of the officers then replies: ‘This is why you don’t do drugs, kids.’
‘This ain’t about drugs, bro! He’s human,’ the bystander says.
‘You’re enjoying it. Look at you. Your body language, you bum. You know that’s bogus right now,’ he adds.
About four minutes into the video, the man appears to begin to lose consciousness before becoming unresponsive.
An ambulance then arrives and police officers move the man’s limp body onto a stretcher.
‘You just really killed that man, bro,’ the male onlooker says.
‘And if he’s not dead, he’s close to death, that’s crazy,’ Frazier adds.
The video, which has been shared more than 15,000 times on Facebook, has sparked outrage among viewers on social media.
‘They killed him right in front of Cup Foods over south on 38th and Chicago!! No type of sympathy. #PoliceBrutality,’ Frazier wrote in a Facebook post.
A man holds a ‘Stop Killing Black People’ placard while protesting near the area where a Minneapolis Police Department officer allegedly killed George Floyd
A Black Lives Matter memorial was left for George Floyd who died in custody on May 26
People gather around a makeshift memorial Tuesday, May 26, 2020, in Minneapolis, near where a black man was taken into police custody the day before who later died
Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Minnesota Mayor Melvin Carter spoke out against Floyd’s killing on Tuesday, calling for the police officers to be held accountable
Black Lives Matter protesters gathered at the site of Floyd’s death on Tuesday, where mourners were seen placing flowers and balloons at a makeshift memorial.
On Tuesday, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension confirmed the FBI has joined in its investigation.
All body camera footage has been turned over to the BCA, which investigates most police shootings and in-custody deaths.
The officers involved were initially put on paid administrative leave, per department protocol.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey addressed the incident in a press conference on Tuesday morning, calling events in the video ‘wrong at every level.’
‘Being black in America should not be a death sentence,’ he said.
‘For five minutes we watched as a white officer pressed his knee to the neck of a black man. For five minutes.
‘When you hear someone calling for help, you are supposed to help.
‘This officer failed in the most basic human sense. What happened on Chicago and 38th, this last night, is simply awful.’
Frey also apologized to the family of the man as well as the black community.
‘He was a human being and his life mattered,’ he said.
Throughout the video, the arresting officer is seen kneeling on the man’s neck as he lay motionless on the ground
The FBI is now investigating the man’s death and the two officers have been placed on paid administrative leave
Minnesota state Senator Amy Klobuchar released a statement following the mayor’s media briefing, calling for the police officers involved to be held accountable.
‘We heard his repeated calls for help. We heard him say over and over again that he could not breathe. And now we have a seen yet another horrifying and gutwrenching instance of an African American man dying,’ she said.
‘Every single person in every single community in this country deserves to feel safe. As the Mayor Minneapolis noted, this tragic loss of life calls for immediate action.
‘There must be a complete and thorough outside investigation into what occurred, and those involved in this incident must be held accountable.
‘Justice must be served for this man and his family, justice must be served for our community, and justice must be served for our country.’
Nekima Levy-Armstrong, a prominent local activist, said watching the footage that was shared on social media made her ‘sick to her stomach’ and called the incident another example of police brutality toward African American men, the Star Tribune reported.
‘Whatever the man may have done should not have ended in a death sentence,’ she said.
‘What started as an alleged economic incident once again turned deadly for a black man.’
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey addressed the incident in a press briefing on Tuesday morning, calling the events in the video ‘wrong at every level’ and saying the officers involved ‘failed in the most basic human sense’
The video has sparked outrage among viewers on social media and has been shared more than 7,000 times
Levy-Armstrong said the incident reminded her of the Eric Garner case.
He was an unarmed New York man who died in 2014 after he was placed in a chokehold by police and pleaded for his life saying he couldn’t breathe.
A grand jury later decided against indicting the officers involved, sparking protests around the country.
Police in Minneapolis have come under the microscope in recent years for deadly run-ins with citizens.
A 24-year-old black man, Jamar Clark, was shot in the head and died in 2015 after a confrontation with two white officers responding to a reported assault.
A county prosecutor declined to prosecute the officers, saying Clark was struggling for one of the officers´ gun when he was shot.
A white woman, Justine Rusczcyk Damond, died in 2017 when she was shot in the stomach by a Minneapolis officer responding to her 911 call.
That officer, who is black, was convicted of manslaughter and murder and is serving a 12-year prison sentence.
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