A second night of violent protests erupted over the death of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called for the white officer who put his knee on Floyd’s neck, as seen in a graphic video that has sparked national outrage, to be charged.
“He’d be alive today if he were white,” Frey said of Floyd. “I’m not a prosecutor, but let me be clear, the arresting officer killed someone.”
The now-infamous video shows Officer Derek Chauvin pinning Floyd’s neck with his knee as he pleaded for help.
“I can’t breathe,” he said repeatedly, as bystanders can be heard pleading with Chauvin to let up on Floyd. The video continued until Floyd was visibly still.
Chauvin and the other three officers involved have since been fired.
One person died in the overnight protests as some in the mostly-peaceful demonstration resorted to looting nearby businesses, smashing windows and setting fires. Dozens of officers were deployed to break up crowds, and the mayor’s office confirms that the National Guard had been called in.
A new report from the Minneapolis Fire Department says paramedics in the ambulance carrying Floyd checked his pulse “several times…finding none…” He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Though Frey declined to call Chauvin racist, he did concede that the facts he had seen so far led him “down the path that race was involved.”
Floyd’s girlfriend, Courteney Ross, said the video makes it clear that her boyfriend was murdered.
“This is nothing but an angel that was sent to us on Earth. And we demonized him and we killed him,” Ross said.
She said Floyd was a gentle giant, and a loving father to his two daughters.
“He loves them with all his heart,” she said. “I don’t know if I’m sad or mad… he cannot die in vain.”
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