The family of George Floyd, the man who died after pleading that he couldn’t breathe as a police officer knelt on his neck, have said they want the four Minneapolis officers involved charged with murder.
As per CNN, Floyd’s two brothers and their cousin were part of an emotional interview on Tuesday where they held up his picture and described him as a “gentle giant”.
Tera Brown, Floyd’s cousin, said: “They were supposed to be there to serve and to protect and I didn’t see a single one of them lift a finger to do anything to help while he was begging for his life. Not one of them tried to do anything to help him.”
“Knowing my brother is to love my brother,” Philonise Floyd said. “They could have tased him, they could have maced him, instead they put their knee in his neck and just sat on him and then carried on.
“They treated him worse than they treat animals.”
Authorities say the officers were responding to reports of forgery in progress. Floyd is reported to have initially resisted arrest when they found him, but he was handcuffed and forced to the ground.
With their suspect subdued, the officers could see he was no longer a threat to himself or others, and yet film footage shows one officer pushing his knee into Floyd’s neck despite Floyd’s pleas that he could no longer breathe.
Notes of the incident claim that Floyd seemed to be “suffering medical distress” after being handcuffed. He later died in hospital.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey spoke out against the unnecessary force used on Tuesday. “The technique that was used is not permitted; is not a technique that our officers get trained in on,” he said. “And our chief has been very clear on that piece. There is no reason to apply that kind of pressure with a knee to someone’s neck.”
State and federal authorities have launched an investigation, and all four officers involved were fired on Tuesday.
“They need to be charged with murder because what they did was murder,” Tera Brown said. “And almost the whole world has witnessed that because somebody was gracious enough to record it.
“They need to pay for what they did.”
Hundreds gathered in protest a day after Floyd’s death, chanting “No justice, no peace,” and “I can’t breathe.”
My heart breaks to hear of such an abuse of power. How many more times are we going to sit by and see this sort of thing happening? Something must be changed!
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