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To the general public, the video of a white police officer pressing his knee into the neck of a shirtless Black man prone on the street, crying out for help until he finally stopped moving, was horrifying.


Four officers were fired a day after George Floyds death, a stunning and swift move by the Minneapolis chief with the mayors full backing. But despite their dismissal, whether the incident will be considered criminal, or even excessive force, is a more complicated question that will likely take months to investigate.


Hours after the officers dismissals were announced, thousands of protesters filled the streets around the scene of Monday evenings deadly incident in a boisterous but peaceful rally. Many in the crowd wore facial coverings to protect against spread of the coronavirus.


But the gathering took an unruly turn around dusk as police in riot gear fired tear gas and non-lethal bean-bag rounds into the crowds while protesters hurled water bottles and other projectiles.


Local news footage showed some demonstrators vandalizing the outside of a police precinct station and a squad car. The unrest appeared to have dissipated after dark as rain fell.


The officers were dismissed soon after a bystanders video taken outside a south Minneapolis grocery store Monday night showed an officer kneeling on the handcuffed mans neck, even after he pleaded that he could not breathe and stopped moving.


Mayor Jacob Frey announced the firings on Twitter, saying: This is the right call.


The officers in the Minneapolis incident havent even been publicly identified, though one defense attorney has confirmed he is representing Derek Chauvin, the officer seen with his knee on Floyds neck. 


The police union asked the public to wait for the investigation to take its course and not to rush to judgment and immediately condemn our officers. Messages left with the union after the firings were not returned.


Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said the department would conduct a full internal investigation, and prosecutors will decide whether to file criminal charges against the officers involved. The Hennepin County Attorneys Office said it was shocked and saddened by the video and pledged to handle the case fairly. Part of that investigation will likely focus on the intent of the officers, whether they meant to harm Floyd or whether it was a death that happened in the course of police work. The FBI was investigating whether the officers willfully deprived Floyd of his civil rights.


News accounts show Chauvin was one of six officers who fired their weapons in the 2006 death of Wayne Reyes, whom police said pointed a sawed-off shotgun at officers after stabbing two people. Chauvin also shot and wounded a man in 2008 in a struggle after Chauvin and his partner responded to a reported domestic assault. Police did not immediately respond to a request for Chauvins service record.



In Minneapolis, kneeling on a suspects neck is allowed under the departments use-of-force policy for officers who have received training in how to compress a neck without applying direct pressure to the airway. It is considered a non-deadly force option, according to the departments policy handbook.


A chokehold is considered a deadly force option and involves someone obstructing the airway. According to the departments use-of-force policy, officers are to use only an amount of force necessary that would be objectively reasonable.


But two use-of-force experts told The Associated Press that the officer clearly restrained the man too long. They noted the man was under control and no longer fighting. Andrew Scott, a former Boca Raton, Florida, police chief who now testifies as an expert witness in use-of-force cases, called Floyds death a combination of not being trained properly or disregarding their training.


He couldnt move. He was telling them he couldnt breathe, and they ignored him, Scott said. I cant even describe it. It was difficult to watch.


In a post on his Facebook page, the mayor, who is white, apologized Tuesday to the Black community for the officers treatment of Floyd, 46, who worked security at a restaurant.


Being Black in America should not be a death sentence. For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a Black mans neck. Five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, youre supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic, human sense, Frey posted.



Police said the man matched the description of a suspect in a forgery case at a grocery store, and that he resisted arrest.


The video starts with the shirtless man on the ground, and does not show what happened in the moments prior. The unidentified officer is kneeling on his neck, ignoring his pleas. Please, please, please, I cant breathe. Please, man, said Floyd, who has his face against the pavement.


Even in the coronavirus pandemic that has killed nearly 100,000 people in the U.S. and prompted police departments around the country to change how theyre doing work, the officers in the video arent wearing masks. In some cities, low-level arrests such as attempted forgery are skipped right now.


Floyd also moans. One of the officers tells him to relax. Floyd calls for his mother and says: My stomach hurts, my neck hurts, everything hurts I cant breathe. As bystanders shout their concern, one officer says, Hes talking, so hes breathing.


But Floyd slowly becomes motionless under the officers restraint. The officer does not remove his knee until the man is loaded onto a gurney by paramedics.


Several witnesses had gathered on a nearby sidewalk, some recording the scene on their phones. The bystanders become increasingly agitated. One man yells repeatedly. Hes not responsive right now! Two witnesses, including one woman who said she was a Minneapolis firefighter, yell at the officers to check the mans pulse. Check his pulse right now and tell me what it is! she said.



At one point, an officer says: Dont do drugs, guys. And one man yells, Dont do drugs, bro? What is that? What do you think this is?


The Hennepin County medical examiner identified Floyd but said the cause of death was pending.


Floyd had worked security for five years at a restaurant called Conga Latin Bistro and rented a home from the restaurant owner, Jovanni Thunstrom.


He was a good friend, person and a good tenant, the restaurateur told the Star Tribune. He was family. His co-workers and friends loved him.


Source: Reuters

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4 US policemen fired after death of unarmed black man

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To the general public, the video of a white police officer pressing his knee into the neck of a shirtless Black man prone on the street, crying out for help until he finally stopped moving, was horrifying.


Four officers were fired a day after George Floyds death, a stunning and swift move by the Minneapolis chief with the mayors full backing. But despite their dismissal, whether the incident will be considered criminal, or even excessive force, is a more complicated question that will likely take months to investigate.


Hours after the officers dismissals were announced, thousands of protesters filled the streets around the scene of Monday evenings deadly incident in a boisterous but peaceful rally. Many in the crowd wore facial coverings to protect against spread of the coronavirus.


But the gathering took an unruly turn around dusk as police in riot gear fired tear gas and non-lethal bean-bag rounds into the crowds while protesters hurled water bottles and other projectiles.


Local news footage showed some demonstrators vandalizing the outside of a police precinct station and a squad car. The unrest appeared to have dissipated after dark as rain fell.


The officers were dismissed soon after a bystanders video taken outside a south Minneapolis grocery store Monday night showed an officer kneeling on the handcuffed mans neck, even after he pleaded that he could not breathe and stopped moving.


Mayor Jacob Frey announced the firings on Twitter, saying: This is the right call.


The officers in the Minneapolis incident havent even been publicly identified, though one defense attorney has confirmed he is representing Derek Chauvin, the officer seen with his knee on Floyds neck. 


The police union asked the public to wait for the investigation to take its course and not to rush to judgment and immediately condemn our officers. Messages left with the union after the firings were not returned.


Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said the department would conduct a full internal investigation, and prosecutors will decide whether to file criminal charges against the officers involved. The Hennepin County Attorneys Office said it was shocked and saddened by the video and pledged to handle the case fairly. Part of that investigation will likely focus on the intent of the officers, whether they meant to harm Floyd or whether it was a death that happened in the course of police work. The FBI was investigating whether the officers willfully deprived Floyd of his civil rights.


News accounts show Chauvin was one of six officers who fired their weapons in the 2006 death of Wayne Reyes, whom police said pointed a sawed-off shotgun at officers after stabbing two people. Chauvin also shot and wounded a man in 2008 in a struggle after Chauvin and his partner responded to a reported domestic assault. Police did not immediately respond to a request for Chauvins service record.



In Minneapolis, kneeling on a suspects neck is allowed under the departments use-of-force policy for officers who have received training in how to compress a neck without applying direct pressure to the airway. It is considered a non-deadly force option, according to the departments policy handbook.


A chokehold is considered a deadly force option and involves someone obstructing the airway. According to the departments use-of-force policy, officers are to use only an amount of force necessary that would be objectively reasonable.


But two use-of-force experts told The Associated Press that the officer clearly restrained the man too long. They noted the man was under control and no longer fighting. Andrew Scott, a former Boca Raton, Florida, police chief who now testifies as an expert witness in use-of-force cases, called Floyds death a combination of not being trained properly or disregarding their training.


He couldnt move. He was telling them he couldnt breathe, and they ignored him, Scott said. I cant even describe it. It was difficult to watch.


In a post on his Facebook page, the mayor, who is white, apologized Tuesday to the Black community for the officers treatment of Floyd, 46, who worked security at a restaurant.


Being Black in America should not be a death sentence. For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a Black mans neck. Five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, youre supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic, human sense, Frey posted.



Police said the man matched the description of a suspect in a forgery case at a grocery store, and that he resisted arrest.


The video starts with the shirtless man on the ground, and does not show what happened in the moments prior. The unidentified officer is kneeling on his neck, ignoring his pleas. Please, please, please, I cant breathe. Please, man, said Floyd, who has his face against the pavement.


Even in the coronavirus pandemic that has killed nearly 100,000 people in the U.S. and prompted police departments around the country to change how theyre doing work, the officers in the video arent wearing masks. In some cities, low-level arrests such as attempted forgery are skipped right now.


Floyd also moans. One of the officers tells him to relax. Floyd calls for his mother and says: My stomach hurts, my neck hurts, everything hurts I cant breathe. As bystanders shout their concern, one officer says, Hes talking, so hes breathing.


But Floyd slowly becomes motionless under the officers restraint. The officer does not remove his knee until the man is loaded onto a gurney by paramedics.


Several witnesses had gathered on a nearby sidewalk, some recording the scene on their phones. The bystanders become increasingly agitated. One man yells repeatedly. Hes not responsive right now! Two witnesses, including one woman who said she was a Minneapolis firefighter, yell at the officers to check the mans pulse. Check his pulse right now and tell me what it is! she said.



At one point, an officer says: Dont do drugs, guys. And one man yells, Dont do drugs, bro? What is that? What do you think this is?


The Hennepin County medical examiner identified Floyd but said the cause of death was pending.


Floyd had worked security for five years at a restaurant called Conga Latin Bistro and rented a home from the restaurant owner, Jovanni Thunstrom.


He was a good friend, person and a good tenant, the restaurateur told the Star Tribune. He was family. His co-workers and friends loved him.


Source: Reuters

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