Shock CCTV footage shows Floyd ‘did not resist arrest’
Shock new surveillance video appears to show George Floyd, who died after being pinned down by Minneapolis police, co-operating with officers in the minutes before his death.
Floyd, who was African-American, can be seen on footage from a nearby restaurant on Monday complying with police officers as he's led from a vehicle, the New York Post reports.
With his hands cuffed behind his back, he appears to be ordered to sit on the ground, which he does, the video shows.
The footage contradicts police accounts that Floyd "physically resisted officers" after he exited his vehicle.
He died after white officer Derek Chauvin handcuffed him and drove his knee into the back of his neck during the incident.
The incident has caused mass uproar in the US, with hundreds of protesters clashing with police in Minneapolis.
In viral mobile phone footage, Floyd is seen pleading for air as Chauvin pins his knee on his neck.
"I cannot breathe! I cannot breathe!" Floyd yells in the clip taken by a bystander. "Don't kill me!"
The FBI and Minnesota state authorities are investigating the incident.
Mayor Jacob Frey announced on Wednesday that the four cops involved in Floyd's arrest have all been fired.
"Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated," Frey wrote on Twitter. "This is the right call."
New video sent to us shows the moment George Floyd was removed from his vehicle and handcuffed on 38th and Chicago.— Alex Lehnert (@AlexLehnertFox9) May 26, 2020
Video courtesy of Christopher Belfrey pic.twitter.com/MiIIula4sA
Minneapolis Police Chief Rondo Arredondo made the announcement that the officers are now "former employees", CBSN Minnesota reported.
The officer, from the same scandal-ridden police force that killed Australian Justine Damond, is seen shoving his knee into the back of the man's neck as he lies on his stomach on the road.
The death is now under investigation by the FBI and state law enforcement authorities.
It immediately drew comparisons to the case of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died in 2014 in New York after he was placed in a chokehold by police and pleaded for his life, saying he could not breathe.
"Being Black in America should not be a death sentence. For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a Black man's neck. Five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, you're supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic, human sense," Frey posted.
Police said Floyd, 46, matched the description of a suspect in a forgery case at a grocery store, and that he resisted arrest.
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." Ben Crump, a prominent civil rights and personal injury lawyer, said he had been hired by Floyd's 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 in a statement.
"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."
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said the department would conduct a full internal investigation. Police did not identify the officers, but lawyer Tom Kelly confirmed he is representing Derek Chauvin, the officer seen with his knee on Floyd's neck. Kelly declined to comment further.
Several hundred protesters gathered Tuesday evening in the street where Floyd died, chanting and carrying banners that read, "I can't breathe" and "Jail killer KKKops." They eventually marched about 2 1/2 miles to a city police precinct, with some protesters damaging windows, a squad car and spraying graffiti on the building.
A line of police in riot gear eventually confronted the protesters, firing tear gas.
Experts on police use of force 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 Floyd's death "a combination of not being trained properly or disregarding their training."
"He couldn't move. He was telling them he couldn't breathe, and they ignored him," Scott said. "I can't even describe it. It was difficult to watch." The New York City officer in the Garner case said he was using a legal manoeuvre called "the seatbelt" to bring down Garner, whom police said had been resisting arrest. But the medical examiner referred to it as a chokehold in the autopsy report and said it contributed to his death. Chokehold manoeuvres are banned under New York police policy.
In Minneapolis, kneeling on a suspect's neck is allowed under the department's 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 department's policy handbook.
A chokehold is considered a deadly force option and involves someone obstructing the airway. According to the department's use-of-force policy, officers are to use only an amount of force necessary that would be objectively reasonable. Before the officers were fired, 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.
The Hennepin County Attorney's Office, which would handle any prosecution of police on state criminal charges, said in a statement that it was "shocked and saddened" by the video and pledged to handle the case fairly.
The FBI is investigating whether the officers wilfully deprived Floyd of his rights. If those federal civil rights charges are brought, they would be handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota, which declined comment. The death came amid outrage over the death of Ahmaud Arbery, who was fatally shot Feb. 23 in Georgia after a white father and son pursued the 25-year-old black man they had spotted running in their subdivision. More than two months passed before charges were brought. Crump also represents Arbery's father.
Racial tensions, never far from the surface in the US, have bubbled over again after the so-called "Karen video in Central Park".
In the video, a black man asks a white woman to put her dog on a lead.
The woman responds: "I'm going to tell the police that an African-American man is threatening my life."
The New York Post report that the man responds: "Please tell them whatever you like."
Video shows the woman on the phone telling police that "there is an African-American man. He is recording me and threatening my dog."
The woman was also accused of animal cruelty for grabbing and dragging the struggling dog by a neck harness. She has since returned her adopted pet to a shelter.
The man's sister posted video of the incident on Twitter. It got more than 20 million hits.
The woman dubbed "Karen of Central Park" is actually Amy Cooper,
She was fired from her company Tuesday US time.
"Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the employee involved, effective immediately. We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton," the investment firm tweeted of worker Amy Cooper.
On social media, Cooper is being referred to as "Karen," the social media shorthand for white women who call the cops on black neighbours over harmless incidents.
Cooper was caught on video a day earlier calling the cops on Christian Cooper, a black bird-watcher, when he dared to tell her to put a leash on her dog, as is required in the park.
Originally published as Shock CCTV footage shows Floyd 'did not resist arrest'