FBI investigates death of a black man in Minneapolis after video shows police officer kneeling on his neck

By Ray Sanchez, Joe Sutton and Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN |

Four Minneapolis police officers involved in the death of a black man who was held down as he protested that he couldn’t breathe have been fired as the FBI looks into the incident, police said Tuesday.

Four officers involved in the incident were “separated from employment,” according to Officer Garrett Parten, a police spokesman.

[Original story, 3:45 p.m. ET]

Minneapolis police officers involved in the death of a black man who was held down as he protested that he couldn’t breathe have been placed on leave as the FBI looks into the incident, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Tuesday.

Officers responding to an alleged forgery in progress Monday evening were initially told that a person later described as the suspect was sitting on a car and appeared to be under the influence, police said.

A pair of officers located the man, who was at that point inside the car and who police said “physically resisted” the officers when ordered to get out. Officers handcuffed the man, who “appeared to be suffering medical distress,” according to police. He died at a hospital a short time later, police said.

The death drew widespread condemnation of the actions of the police after a video circulated on social media showing two officers by the man on the ground — one of them with his knee over the back of the man’s neck. The video did not capture what led up to the arrest or what police described as the man resisting arrest.

“Please, I can’t breathe,” the man said, screaming for several minutes before he became silent. Bystanders urged the officer to release the man from his hold.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, in a statement, identified the man as George Floyd and said he was representing his family.

“We all watched the horrific death of George Floyd on video as witnesses begged the police officer to take him into the police car and get off his neck,” Crump 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.”

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar via Twitter called the incident “yet another horrifying and gutwrenching instance of an African American man dying.”

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About Cholo Brooks 14994 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.