Four Minneapolis police officers were fired Tuesday, authorities said, amid protests and outrage after a viral video showed one of them kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed black man who cried that he could not breathe and later died.
A bystander’s video of the incident on the city’s south side captured George Floyd telling the officers “I cannot breathe” as he is pinned to the ground, and as an increasingly distraught crowd of onlookers pleads with the officer to move his knee.
The officers involved in the incident have not been identified, but Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) announced Tuesday afternoon that they had been terminated.
“It is the right decision for our city, the right decision for our community. It is the right decision for the Minneapolis Police Department,” Frey said at a news conference with Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. “We’ve stated our values, and ultimately we need to live by them.”
The Minneapolis Police Department originally said that Floyd, who was stopped Monday night on a report of a forgery, had “physically resisted officers.” But in a Tuesday interview with local outlet North News, Frey said that as additional information was revealed, “it became clear that the original statement was not accurate.”
Video captures events before the handcuffing of a black man in Minneapolis who died after being pinned to the ground by police
Arradondo said during the news conference that he had decided to ask the FBI to investigate after receiving “additional information” about the incident from a community source, but he declined to elaborate.