Minneapolis, Minnesota: Outrage and anger grows over the death of George Floyd well in Minneapolis Police Department custody.
The death of 46 year old man has sparked outrage and anger across country towards by Minneapolis Police Department officers involved in an incident that was captured on cellphone camera and surveillance camera.
George Floyd died at the hospital after he was detained by officers from the Minneapolis Police Department near the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue South on Monday, May 25th, 2020 after an employee at a Minneapolis grocery store called Minneapolis Police Department allegedly George Floyd tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a local grocery store.
"I CAN'T BREATHE": Video shows George Floyd, a black man that police say was a possible "forgery" suspect, pleading with Minneapolis cops for air as they press a knee into his neck. Floyd loses consciousness and later dies.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 26, 2020
Footage of the incident was taken by a bystander, showing Officer Derek Chauvin pinning George Floyd to the ground and pressing his knee into his neck as George Floyd repeatedly says, “Please, please, please, I can’t breathe” and “My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Please, please. I can’t breathe.”
Several minutes later, George Floyd lost consciousness, was loaded onto a stretcher and was sent to the hospital were he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
Surveillance camera footage of a nearby restaurant was provided to the media, and showed two officers removing a George Floyd from a vehicle, handcuffed and brought to a sidewalk, where he sits down as a third officer arrives.
Later in the surveillance camera footage, an officer is seen helping George Floyd stand up again, and two officers is seen bringing George Floyd to a police vehicle, where George Floyd is seen falling onto the ground.
The initial video circulated widely over social media and over local and national news outlets, sparking outrage and anger across the country.
While the Minneapolis Police Department initially claimed that George Floyd had resisted arrest, the surveillance footage showed officers calmly detaining him and doesn’t appear to support the assertion that George Floyd resisted arrest.
On Tuesday, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced that the officers were placed on leave, but later that day, the four responding officers were fired.
On Wednesday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called for the officer who had his need on Floyd’s neck to be criminally charged.
Meanwhile, the owner of a Minneapolis grocery store that George Floyd had just left when he encountered the police is speaking out, saying his employee called him crying after witnessing an officer press his knee into the man’s neck.
Mike Abumayyaleh, the owner of Cup Foods, told NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez that the employee was “crying, telling me ‘Mike, Mike. What should I do? The guy can’t breathe. They’re killing him.'”
Mike Abumayyaleh was not at work the day of the incident but tells NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez that George Floyd was a regular at his store and he never had an issue with him in the past.
On the day of the incident, Mike Abumayyaleh told NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez that George Floyd came in with a man and a woman, and the man tried to use what an employee suspected was a counterfeit $20 bill but an employee caught it, gave it back to the man and they left.
Mike Abumayyaleh told NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez that roughly 10 minutes later, George Floyd came back in the store and used a suspicious $20 bill.
Mike Abumayyaleh told NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez that the employee didn’t immediately notice and George Floyd left but the employee followed protocol and called the police, and George Floyd was still outside the store when officers arrived.
According to U.S. Attorney Erica Macdonald, the Department of Justice has made the investigation a top priority, and that United States President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr are closely monitoring the investigation.
U.S. Attorney Erica Macdonald and FBI Special Agent In Charge Rainer Drolshagen released a joint statement Thursday morning concerning the George Floyd investigation.
The statement reads, “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office are conducting a robust criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd. The Department of Justice has made the investigation a top priority and has assigned experienced prosecutors and FBI criminal investigators to the matter. The federal investigation will determine whether the actions by the involved former Minneapolis Police Department officers violated federal law. It is a violation of federal law for an individual acting under color of law to willfully deprive another person of any right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
The Department of Justice asks for cooperation from all witnesses who believe they have relevant information and urges calm as investigators methodically continue to gather facts. The Department of Justice and FBI’s comprehensive investigation will compile all available information and thoroughly evaluate evidence and information obtained from witnesses. Upon conclusion of the FBI’s investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will determine whether federal criminal charges are supported by the evidence. If it is determined that there has been a violation of federal law, criminal charges will be sought. Anyone with information can call the FBI at 1-800-CALLFBI (800-225-5324)”.
Before he died, George Floyd was suffering the same fate as millions of Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic; out of work and looking for a new job.
George Floyd grew up in Houston’s Third Ward, where he and Harris met in middle school.
At 6 feet, 6 inches, Floyd emerged as a star tight end for Jack Yates High School and played in the 1992 state championship game in the Houston Astrodome, which Yates lost to Temple 38-20.
George Floyd moved to Minneapolis from his native Houston several years ago in hopes of finding work and starting a new life.
According to court documents, George Floyd was charged in 2007 with armed robbery in a home invasion in Houston and in 2009 was sentenced to five years in prison as part of a plea deal.
Harris, Floyd’s childhood friend, tells CBS Minneapolis that he talked Floyd into moving to Minneapolis after he got out of prison.
Floyd landed a job working security at a Salvation Army store in downtown Minneapolis, and later started working two jobs, one driving trucks and another as a bouncer at Conga Latin Bistro, where he was known as “Big Floyd.”
George Floyd lost his job as a bouncer at a restaurant when Minnesota’s governor issued a stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Harris tells CBS Minneapolis that Floyd was laid off when Minnesota shut down restaurants, and he spoke with Floyd on Sunday night; giving him some information for contacting a temporary jobs agency.
“He was doing whatever it takes to maintain going forward with his life,” Harris told CBS Minneapolis, adding the he couldn’t believe that Floyd would resort to forgery, saying “I’ve never known him to do anything like that.”
The Houston Chronicle reports that George Floyd leaves behind a 6 year old daughter who still lives in Houston with her mother, Roxie Washington.
Less than 24 hours after his died, Hennepin County Medical Examiner released the report on George Floyd’s death well in Minneapolis Police Department custody.
According to the Medical Examiner’s report, George Perry Floyd died at 9:25 p.m. on May 25, and his cause of death has not yet been determined, pending further testing and investigation by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI.
While the investigation into the death of George Floyd continues, demonstrations have been occurring in cities across the country.
Many of the people in these demonstrations are upset and angry at what happened but remained peaceful; marching down streets and sidewalks holding signs and demanding Justice for George Floyd and Stop Police Brutality.
Unfortunately in Minneapolis, peaceful demonstrations boiled out of control, turning into rioting; people seen looting local businesses and setting local buildings on fire; all being captured on camera.
These pictures from CBS Minneapolis and Fox 9 show the scene of the roiting and fires.
Another peaceful demonstrations in Downtown Los Angeles briefly got out of control as demonstrators got onto lanes of the 101 Freeway near Alameda Avenue blocking traffic.
Protesters on the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles could be seen smashing the windows of two CHP cruisers as one fled with a protester on the vehicle. The protestor was later taken away in an ambulance. The group was protesting the death of #GeorgeFloyd https://t.co/WOLqoGOZyP pic.twitter.com/sSJUp6QmCv
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) May 28, 2020
Aerial footage from CBS Los Angeles shows demonstrators began surrounding a California Highway Patrol vehicle, and a person with long hair and wearing a black shirt throwing an object to the back window of the patrol vehicle.
The officer inside the patrol vehicle began to drive away from the crowd well two people were seen on top of the front hood of the patrol vehicle.
One person on top of the front hood of the California Highway Patrol vehicle getting off the front hood but fell down onto the roadway.
Another California Highway Patrol vehicle is seen driving up next to the downed person on the roadway who fell, only to be surrounded by other demonstrators.
Aerial footage from CBS Los Angeles shows a person wearing an orange shirt throwing a wooden object to the back window of the patrol vehicle as other demonstrators began kicking the patrol vehicle.
The California Highway Patrol vehicle drove away and demonstrators surrounded the downed person on the roadway.
Firefighters from the Los Angeles City Fire Department arrived to check on the down demonstrator, which other demonstrators made room for the firefighters to help the down demonstrator.
Am ambulance arrived and the down demonstrator was put onto a stretcher, into the ambulance and transported to a hospital.
Afterwards, demonstrators began walking off the 101 Freeway and began demonstrating near the federal building.
As of Thursday night, rioting continues in Minneapolis, with local news outlets reporting as well as live broadcasts via YouTube showing the 3rd Precinct for the Minneapolis Police Department was looted and set on fire.
This picture from CBS Minneapolis showing the fire.
The City of Minneapolis is calling on rioters to move away from the due to the threat of an explosion.
In a tweet, the City of Minneapolis says there are unconfirmed reports that gas lines have been cut and say there are other explosives in the building.
Reports that officers from the 3rd Precinct for the Minneapolis Police Department were able to safely evacuate before the crowd of people made their way into the building.
The attorney representing the family of George Floyd released a statement earlier on Thursday thanking the protesters seeking justice in Floyd’s death, calling for peace and asking for prayers and support for his family.
Attorney Benjamin Crump released the statement on Twitter based on his conversations with Floyd’s family (Pictured Below).
The tweet included an official George Floyd Memorial Fund via GoFundMe at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd
Overnight Thursday, United States President Donald Trump tweeted, “I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right. These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”
Meanwhile closer to home, demonstrations occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada and Phoenix, Arizona.
Reports from KTNV 13 Action News that a peaceful demonstration was held on Las Vegas Boulevard, with about a hundred people walked the boulevard to express their frustration and anger but also to remember George Floyd.
The group kneeled in front of a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department area command, located on Las Vegas Boulevard, for seven minutes – the reported time a Minnesota officer held a knee to Floyd’s head.
A few members of the group shout obscenities at local police, but overall no violence or arrests were reported.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak released the following on his Twitter account Thursday, tweeting, “What happened to men like George Floyd – and to the many others whose experiences we may not see go viral on social media – is unacceptable. George Floyd should be alive today.”
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Joe Lambardo also released the following on his Twitter account, tweeting, “The death of Mr. Floyd is deeply disturbing. The officers’ actions and inaction are inconsistent with the training and protocols of our profession and the LVMPD.
I can assure you the LVMPD will strive each day to continue to build your trust.”
In Phoenix, Arizona, a demonstration in downtown Phoenix occurred Thursday night over the in custody death of George Floyd.
At the beginning, the demonstration was peaceful with hundreds marching through downtown Phoenix in solidarity with George Floyd protest.
Picture from AZ Family 3TV CBS 5 shows that moment of solidarity by demonstrators.
The demonstration continued on streets which lead traffic to stop as the roadway were blocked.
Later that night, peaceful demonstration got tense as demonstrators came face-to-face with officers, and later got worst as some demonstrators began throwing rock and bottles and even breaking a police building doors and windows.
Picture from ABC 15 showed broken doors and glass at the Phoenix Police Headquarters.
— azfamily 3TV CBS 5 (@azfamily) May 29, 2020
Footage from AZ Family 3TV CBS 5 shows demonstrator smashes the window of a Phoenix Police SUV.
The demonstration continued overnight through the streets.
According to ABC 15, information on any possible arrests or injuries has not yet been released.
At 3:09 a.m. PT Friday, ZachNews has learned that the law enforcement in riot gear have arrested a reporter and crew who were reporting on the protesting and roiting that was raged through the night over the death of George Floyd.
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
According to CNN, Reporter Omar Jimenez was taken into police custody during a live broadcast, just as officers in riot gear went towards a woman.
Officers in their riot gear labeled “State Patrol” are then seen next to the news crew, and Omar Jimenez clearly identifying himself to officers who he was and even politely telling the officers that we’ll move where you like us to move, so not to get in the way.
Despite identifying himself and being polite to officers, Omar Jimenez and his crew, including a producer and a camera operator, were placed in handcuffs live.
The CNN camera that was broadcasting live was also taken into custody and continued to record as the crew was handcuffed, with police seemingly unaware that the camera was still on.
Moments ago, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has apologized for the arrest of a CNN reporter, camera and crew, says “It was totally unacceptable,” and that he will have them released.
Stay tuned to ZachNews for more updated information regarding this news story.