MINNEAPOLIS — Mayor Jacob Frey says four Minneapolis police officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated.
Agents from the FBI and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) have been called in to investigate possible civil rights violations after Floyd died while in Minneapolis police custody Monday, with a bystander video capturing him calling for help.
"This is the right call," Frey wrote on Twitter as he announced the firing of the officers.
Squads were called to the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South shortly after 8 p.m. on reports of a forgery in progress. According to a press release from Minneapolis Police, they were advised that the suspect was sitting on top of a vehicle and appeared to be under the influence.
Police arrived and found the man, described as being in his 40s, inside his car. He was told to get out of his car by the officers, and proceeded to physically resist them, according to the police press release.
A videotape that appears to capture the encounter shows an officer kneeling on the man's neck as he begs for help, saying "I cannot breathe." After several minutes, the man on the ground stops moving. A bystander can be heard saying "his nose is bleeding" and later, "did they (expletive) kill him?"
After several minutes, the man on the ground stops moving. Police called an ambulance and the suspect was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Attorney Benjamin Crump identified the man who died as George Floyd, and said he is representing the family. He issued a statement on Twitter, saying, "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."
Crump went on to say that they will "seek justice for the family" and demand answers from police. He has handled a number of high-profile civil rights cases, representing the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Ahmaud Arbery, to name a few.
Police say the body cameras of officers were on and activated during the incident. All body camera footage has been turned over to the BCA, which investigates most police shootings and in-custody deaths.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, who in most cases will make the decision on whether criminal charges might be filed in the case, released a statement after viewing the video of the incident.
"The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office is shocked and saddened by what appeared in a recent video. The BCA and FBI are both investigating this case. This office, through several of our most veteran prosecutors, is assisting in directing that investigation. We are also in consultation with the US Attorney," Freeman wrote.
"At the end of the investigation, the findings will be presented to our office for consideration of prosecution. We promise a thorough, expedited review consistent with our on-going commitment to justice. Every person is entitled to fairness; no person stands above the law."
See story from earlier Tuesday here.