Four police officers in Minneapolis were sacked Tuesday following the death of George Floyd a black man who was brutally assaulted by the policemen.
The inhumane actions of the police officers were exposed in a video filmed by a bystander and uploaded on social media. The video showed one of the policemen kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed black man (George Floyd) who later died.
Floyd’s death sparked street protests in the midwestern US city.Protesters, many wearing face masks because of the coronavirus outbreak, held signs saying “Justice for George Floyd” and “Black Lives Matter” during a rally near the scene of Monday’s death in custody.
In the video a shirtless Floyd — thought to be in his 40s — is pinned on the ground by a white officer who kneels on his neck for more than five minutes.
“Your knee in my neck. I can’t breathe… Mama. Mama,” Floyd pleaded.
Floyd slowly grew silent and motionless, unable to move even as the officers taunted him to “get up and get in the car.” He was taken to hospital where he was later declared dead.
After firing the four officers involved, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey expressed outrage as calls rose for them to be prosecuted for murder.
“What I saw was wrong at every level.For five minutes, we watched as a white officer pressed his knee into the neck of a black man. Being black in America should not be a death sentence.” Frey added.
According to AFP, civil rights attorney Ben Crump said he had been retained by Floyd’s family. In a statement, Crump said Floyd had been stopped by police over a forgery accusation, a charge often used for writing bad checks or using fake banknotes for purchases.
“This abusive, excessive and inhumane use of force cost the life of a man who was being detained by the police for questioning on a non-violent charge,” he said.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said he had passed the case to the FBI for investigation, which could turn it into a federal rights violation case. But there are calls for the officers’ arrest on homicide charges.
Bernice King, daughter of the civil rights leader Martin Luther King, tweeted a composite image showing a screenshot of the officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck next to a photo of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the US national anthem in protest over police brutality and social injustice.
“If you’re unbothered or mildly bothered by the 1st knee, but outraged by the 2nd, then, in my father’s words, you’re “more devoted to order than to justice”,” King tweeted.