President Donald Trump announced late on Wednesday afternoon that he directed the FBI and Department of Justice to investigate the death of George Floyd after Floyd died in police custody earlier this week.
“At my request, the FBI and the Department of Justice are already well into an investigation as to the very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement. My heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!”
….I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement. My heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2020
Floyd, 46, died on Monday after he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground by law enforcement officers in an incident that sparked widespread outrage after video of the incident went viral on social media.
“The arrest of Mr. Floyd took place on Monday evening. The Minneapolis Police Department said in a statement that officers had responded to a call about a man suspected of forgery,” The New York Times reported. “The police said the man was found sitting on top of a blue car and ‘appeared to be under the influence.'”
The Times added that videos that surfaced online of the incident did not show what happened prior to the police officers pinning Floyd on the ground.
The Minneapolis Police Department identified the four police officers involved in the arrest as Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said on Tuesday that all four police officers were fired.
“Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated,” Frey wrote in a tweet. “This is the right call.”
Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated.
This is the right call.
— Mayor Jacob Frey (@MayorFrey) May 26, 2020
The Star Tribune reported that protesters responded to the incident by allegedly rioting and looting local stores.
“Protesters, including some apparent looters, kept up their presence outside Minneapolis’ Third Precinct police headquarters Wednesday night, some of them throwing rocks and bottles at police,” The Star Tribune reported. “At the nearby Lake Street Target store, looters were seen leaving the store with items that included large TVs. No police officers were there as of 6:45 p.m.”
Attorney Ben Crump was retained by the family and released the following statement: “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. This abusive, excessive and inhumane use of force cost the life of a man who was being detained by the police questioning about a non-violent charge. We will seek justice for the family of George Floyd, as we demand answers from the Minnesota Police Department. How many ‘while black’ deaths will it take until the racial profiling and undervaluing of black lives by police finally ends?”
— Benjamin Crump, Esq. (@AttorneyCrump) May 26, 2020
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