Minneapolis, MN – “I can’t breathe” were some of the last words of the latest victim to police terror. Memorial Day in Minneapolis saw the echoing of the same words as Eric Garner before he was killed by police six years earlier. For over eight minutes Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on the neck of an unarmed and handcuffed man on Monday night, killing him.
This is at least the second person Chauvin has killed behind the badge. The incident was recorded by a bystander and posted to Facebook.
Minneapolis Responds To Police Murder of George Floyd
Unicorn Riot has been covering the street protest that rallied the afternoon of May 26. Tune in:
The FBI has been called in to assist the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (MN-BCA) in the investigation of the incident.
Neither the victim, who’s said to be in his 40s, nor the multiple police responsible have been officially identified. However, after reviewing the video, seeing the officer’s name tag and cross-checking it with what a bystander said was the officer’s badge number, 1087, the officer is found to be Derek Chauvin. The victim is said to be George Floyd, from Houston, TX.
Officer Derek Chauvin, who’s been on the force for nearly two decades, has at least 10 complaints that have been filed against him. He has shot and killed at least one person and shot and wounded at least one other, in that person’s own bathroom.
During the encounter that was filmed by community member Darnella Frazier, Chauvin is seen pushing his knee into the handcuffed man’s neck as he was on the pavement of Chicago Avenue near 38th Street in front of Cup Foods. On the video, bystanders can be heard questioning why Chauvin continued to dig his knee in the man’s neck for so long.
At one point Chauvin reached for his mace to threaten the bystanders while continuing to kneel on the man. Chauvin’s partner, Tou Thao, can be heard repeatedly telling people “don’t do drugs” in response to concerns Chauvin was physically injuring the man.
The police said the man was a suspect in an alleged forgery attempt and that he resisted arrest.
In a midnight presser in front of Minneapolis Police Headquarters, Public Information Officer Jon Elder said that officers at the scene called in an ambulance when they “realized that the suspect was suffering a medical distress.” PIO Elder seems to have disregarded the video showing the man being kneeled on by his distresser.
An update from the department’s PIO: pic.twitter.com/DZDLHp99Wd
— Libor Jany (@StribJany) May 26, 2020
Elder also stated the officers had body cameras on and activated, but the bystander video clearly shows Chauvin without a body camera.
The President of Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB), Michelle Gross, said this video makes it “clear this was an outright murder“.
“The MPD has an appalling record of killing people of color and covering it up. This time, though, witnesses and video will make it a lot harder.
It’s clear this was an outright murder.
We demand an independent investigation—not the usual BCA cover up—and we demand these cops be prosecuted for murder.” — Michelle Gross, CUAPB
“He should not have died“, said an emotional Jacob Frey, the Mayor of Minneapolis, during a morning press conference with Minneapolis Police Chief Arradondo. Frey said “he was a human being and his life mattered.” Frey condemned Chauvin’s actions, saying he was “wrong at every level” and that Chauvin “failed in the most human sense.”
“Being Black in America should not be a death sentence” — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey
Mayor Frey and Chief Arradondo said the racial aspect of the incident is why the FBI was called in, to investigate civil rights violations.
A protest is planned for 5 p.m. tonight at 38th St. and Chicago Ave. in South Minneapolis. Follow Unicorn Riot for more updates.
Unicorn Riot's George Floyd Coverage:
- George Floyd Uprising – Reporter Reflection [5 Episode Series] - Fall 2020
- Minneapolis Police Murder Handcuffed Man With Neck-Kneel - May 26, 2020
- Minneapolis Protests Police Murder of George Floyd: Day 2 - May 27, 2020
- Twin Cities Protest Death of George Floyd: Day 3 - May 28, 2020
- New Footage Reveals Moments Before George Floyd’s Death - May 30, 2020
- Minneapolis Protests Police Murder of George Floyd: Day 7 - June 1, 2020
- Owner Assaulted by Troopers While Protecting His Business - June 2, 2020
- Action at WCCO to End Media Bias Against Victims of Police Violence: Day 9 - June 3, 2020
- George Floyd Memorial Service in Minneapolis - June 4, 2020
- Rally and March to Defund MPD after George Floyd: Day 12 - June 6, 2020
- Nine Council Members Vow to Disband Minneapolis Police - June 10, 2020
- Denver Police Served Temporary Restraining Order Amid Nationwide Protest Repression - June 11, 2020
- George Floyd Uprising in Minneapolis–Saint Paul — The First Two Weeks - June 14, 2020
- “No Justice, No Street” – Community Makes Demands, Eviction of George Floyd Memorial Square Delayed - August 17, 2020
- Pretrial Begins: County Attorney Freeman Pulled from George Floyd Police Prosecutions - September 14, 2020
- Ex-Cop Charged in George Floyd Murder Out On $1M Bail - October 7, 2020
- Youth Lead March After Ex-Cop Charged in Floyd’s Murder Bailed Out - October 14, 2020