MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has called on Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to press charges against the arresting officer for George Floyd’s Monday night death.
Four Minneapolis police officers who were involved in the arrest of a black man who died in police custody were fired Tuesday. On Wednesday, the City of Minneapolis released their identities.
As of yet, no arrests have been made, which Frey said inspired him to speak out Wednesday afternoon. He said any other individual other than a police officer in a case like this would already be in jail.
“If you had done it, or if I had done it, we would be behind bars right now,” Frey said. “We watched for five whole excruciating minutes as a white officer firmly pressed his knee into the neck of an unarmed, handcuffed black man. I saw no threat. I saw nothing that would signal that this kind of force was necessary. By the way, that particular technique that was used is not authorized by the MPD. … And it should not be used, period.”
Frey also said he would like to see the body camera footage from officers involved to be released as soon as possible without risking the criminal investigation.
“We are not talking about a split-second decision that was made incorrectly. There’s somewhere around 300 seconds in those five minutes, every one of which the officer could have turned back, every second of which he could have removed his knee from George Floyd’s neck, every one of which he could have listened to the community around him, clearly saying he needed to stop, every one of which you heard George Floyd himself articulating the pain he was feeling, an inability to breathe,” Frey said.
WCCO has reached out to Freeman for comment.
— esme murphy (@esmemurphy) May 27, 2020
Floyd was arrested around 8 p.m. Monday for alleged forgery, a non-violent crime that implies he tried to used forged documents at a nearby deli. Officers say he resisted arrest.
A video posted to social media shows an encounter between Minneapolis police and Floyd outside Cup Foods. In the nine-minute video, an officer can be seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck at the side of a squad car. Floyd can be heard groaning and repeatedly telling police he can’t breathe.
After about five minutes in the video, Floyd appears to go unconscious. The bystanders ask for someone to check his pulse. The officer does not lift his knee from Floyd’s neck until medical personnel arrive a few minutes later and carry him to an ambulance. Police said he was taken to Hennepin Healthcare, where he was pronounced dead.