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In a very rare and shocking display for a politician, #Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has called for criminal charges against the police officer who killed #GeorgeFloyd. “I’ve wrestled with, more than anything else over the last 36 hours, one fundamental question: Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail. If you had done it, or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now,” Frey said. “We cannot turn a blind eye, it is on us as leaders to see this for what it is and call it what it is. George Floyd deserves justice, his family deserves justice, the black community deserves justice and our city deserves justice,” he added.
When asked about which specific charge he would want to see for the officer, Frey declined to comment, but Floyd’s family members and many of their supporters are calling for the officer to be charged with murder.
Frey also commented on the protests that took place in the city, in which a few police cars were damaged near the precinct. “I get the need to protest. I fully understand and appreciate it. People need a way to vent, especially in a time of so much sorrow and anger,” but added that “those rights, they must stop when other’s public safety is put at risk.” All four officers who were involved in the incident were fired shortly after the footage went viral, but the police department has not changed their initial statement, which claimed that the officers were being so rough with him because he was resisting arrest.
Aside from the report filed by the arresting officers, there is actually no proof that Floyd ever resisted. In fact, footage has since surfaced which shows that Floyd was not resisting arrest, and that the officers were rough with him from the start.
While the circumstances which led up the incident are unclear, police first claimed that Floyd attempted to use “forged documents” at a nearby deli, which some sources later clarified was a counterfeit bill.
In the initial video of the killing, which has now been seen by millions, Floyd can be heard pleading with the officer to get off his neck, and said multiple times that he couldn’t breathe. A crowd of onlookers gathered over the several minutes that officer Derek Chauvin had Floyd needlessly pinned to the ground. The bystanders began taking videos of the situation and telling people that he couldn’t breathe, but the officers assured them that he was going to be fine. After nearly ten minutes, Floyd lost consciousness and was then taken to a local hospital where he never woke up.
The family’s attorney, Ben Crump, suggested that if it weren’t for the cellphone footage that was released of the incident, it is likely that the police would have created their own narrative about the situation and swept everything under the rug.
In a previous statement, Mayor Frey said that the physical technique that the officers on the scene used to pin Floyd to the ground is technically not permitted by the police department.