Hundreds of protesters in Minneapolis took to the streets on Tuesday night to demand justice for George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a white officer was filmed kneeling on his neck during his arrest.
Police dressed in riot gear fired rubber bullets and tear gas into a throng of protesters who surrounded a police precinct, some of whom carried signs saying “I can’t breathe” and “Justice 4 Floyd.”
Four officers with the Minneapolis Police Department who were involved in Monday’s death of George Floyd, 46, have been fired from the force. The FBI and state law enforcement officials are conducting an investigation into Floyd’s death.
A video of the incident is disturbing. An eight-minute clip filmed by a person on the street shows Floyd telling police he can’t breath and begging the cop on top of him to stop before he falls unconscious. Officer Derek Chauvin was identified as the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck outside Cup Foods on Chicago Avenue and East 38th Street.
“He’s not even resisting arrest right now, bro,” one bystander tells the white officer and his partner, in the video. “You’re f***ing stopping his breathing right now, you think that’s cool?”
Hundreds gathered throughout the day at the intersection, and after nightfall, the crowd swelled. Then protesters and police clashed, with protesters reportedly hurling objects and police firing tear gas and flash grenades.
“We’re here to let them know this can’t be tolerated, there will be severe consequences if they continue to kill us this will not go on another day,” a protester told the local CBS affiliate.
“At about 6 p.m., the protest turned into a march towards the 3rd Precinct, where it is believed that the officers worked. A much smaller group than the initial protest started vandalizing the building, shattering a window and spray painting squad cars,” CBS-4 reported.
Officers then showed up in riot gear, and started firing tear gas and flash grenades as protesters hurled rocks, water bottles and anything they could get their hands on towards the officers.
Videos and pictures of the clash quickly emerged on social media.
RAW VIDEO: Protesters inside Minneapolis Police's 3rd Precinct parking lot smashing squad cars, before officers show up and fire flash grenades inside to get them to disperse. WARNING: This video contains violence and strong language. READ MORE: https://t.co/HZTamsXTCN pic.twitter.com/Cktz07ftSg
— WCCO – CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) May 27, 2020
— Evie (@EvelynDornquast) May 27, 2020
“Police shooting more tear gas and marking rounds. Guy next to me got nailed w marker from across the street. Truck drove full speed into a bunch of carts and protestors rushed it. Vehicle drove off dragging a cart down Lake. More rain now and ppl dispersing,” wrote reporter Andy Mannix.
Police shooting more tear gas and marking rounds. Guy next to me got nailed w marker from across the street. Truck drove full speed into a bunch of carts and protestors rushed it. Vehicle drove off dragging a cart down Lake. More rain now and ppl dispersing pic.twitter.com/RdzZtJTBhj
— Andy Mannix (@AndrewMannix) May 27, 2020
The protest came despite swift action from Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, who quickly announced that the four officers involved are now “former employees” with the department, CBS reported.
Mayor Jacob Frey also wrote on Twitter: “Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated. This is the right call.”
A police statement said officers were responding to a “forgery in progress.” “Officers were advised that the suspect was sitting on top of a blue car and appeared to be under the influence,” the statement said. “Two officers arrived and located the suspect, a male believed to be in his 40s, in his car. He was ordered to step from his car.”
“After he got out, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers called for an ambulance,” according to the statement.
“At no time were weapons of any type used by anyone involved in this incident. … Body worn cameras were on and activated during this incident,” said the statement.
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