Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Minneapolis police, protesters clash almost 24 hours after George Floyd’s death in custody

By Libor Jany

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Four Minneapolis police officers were fired Tuesday after the detention and death of 47-year-old George Floyd — a scene that unfolded in a Facebook video showing a white officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he pleaded with police, “I can’t breathe.”

Floyd died at Hennepin County Medical Center soon after the incident, which started when police detained him Monday evening on suspicion of trying to pass a fake $20 bill at a convenience store.

The FBI launched an investigation Tuesday, as the Minneapolis Police Department fired the officer as well as three others who were at the scene.

“Being black in America should not be a death sentence,” a visibly shaken Mayor Jacob Frey said. “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.”

Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said he had stayed up all night wrestling with his decision to terminate the officers. Arradondo said he couldn’t say much about the case — either about the FBI’s investigation or a parallel probe by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) — but added that “sanctity of life” has always been and remains a pillar of his department.

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