United States: Demonstrations and rioting continued late on Friday, May 29th, 2020, just hours after the Minneapolis Police Department officer who was capture on camera pressing his knee into George Floyd’s neck as he begged for air was arrested and charged with murder.
Commissioner John Harrington from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced former Minneapolis Police Department Officer, 44 year old Derek Chauvin from Oakdale, has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the in custody death of George Floyd case that occurred on Monday, May 25th, 2020.
Derek Chauvin, seen in release mugshot above, was also accused of ignoring another officer at the scene who expressed concerns about the black man as he lay handcuffed on the ground, pleading that he could not breathe.
Video showed 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.
*** A criminal complaint released Friday afternoon details the events that unfolded on May 25: ***
“On May 25, 2020, someone called 911 and reported that a man bought merchandise from Cup Foods at 3759 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota with a counterfeit $20 bill.
At 8:08 p.m., Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) Officers Thomas Lane and J.A. Kueng arrived with their body worn cameras (BWCs) activated and running.
The officers learned from store personnel that the man who passed the counterfeit $20 was parked in a car around the corner from the store on 38th Street.
BWC video obtained by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension shows that the officers approached the car, Lane on the driver’s side and Kueng on the passenger side.
Three people were in the car; George Floyd was in the driver’s seat, a known adult male was in the passenger seat and a known adult female was sitting in the backseat.
As Officer Lane began speaking with Mr. Floyd, he pulled his gun out and pointed it at Mr. Floyd’s open window and directed Mr. Floyd to show his hands.
When Mr. Floyd put his hands in the steering wheel, Lane put his gun back in its holster.
While Officer Kueng was speaking with the front seat passenger, Officer Lane ordered Mr. Floyd out of the car, put his hands on Mr. Floyd, and pulled him out of the car.
Officer Lane handcuffed Mr. Floyd. Mr. Floyd actively resisted being handcuffed.
Once handcuffed, Mr. Floyd became compliant and walked with Officer Lane to the sidewalk and sat on the ground at Officer Lane’s direction.
In a conversation that lasted just under two minutes, Officer Lang asked Mr. Floyd for his name and identification.
Officer Lane asked Mr. Lloyd if he was “on anything” and explained that he was arresting Mr. Lloyd for passing counterfeit currency.
Officers Kueng and Lane stood Mr. Floyd up and attempted to walk Mr. Floyd to their squad car (MPD 320) at 8:14 p.m.
Mr. Floyd stiffened up, fell to the ground, and told the officers he was claustrophobic.
MPD Officers Derek Chauvin (the defendant) and Tou Thoa then arrived in a separate squad car.
The officers made several attempts to get Mr. Floyd in the backseat of squad 320 from the driver’s side.
Mr. Floyd did not voluntarily get in the car and struggled with the officers by intentionally falling down, saying he was not going in the car, and refusing to stand still.
Mr. Floyd is over six feet tall and weighs more than 200 pounds.
While standing outside the car, Mr. Floyd began saying and repeating that he could not breathe.
The defendant went to the passenger side and tried to get Mr. Floyd into the car from that side and Lane and Kueng assisted.
The defendant pulled Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side of the squad car at 8:19:38 p.m. and Mr. Floyd went to the ground face down and still handcuffed.
Kueng held Mr. Floyd’s back and Lane held his legs.
The defendant placed his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck.
Mr. Floyd said, “I can’t breathe” multiple times and repeatedly said, “Mama” and “please,” as well.
The defendant and the other two officers stayed in their positions.
The officers said, “You are talking fine” to Mr. Floyd as he continued to move back and forth.
Lane asked, “should we roll him on his side?” and the defendant said, “No, staying put where we got him.”
Officer Lane said, “I am worried about excited delirium or whatever.”
The defendant said, “That’s why we have him on his stomach.” None of the three officers moved from their positions.
BWC video shows Mr. Floyd continue to move and breathe.
At 8:24:24, Mr. Floyd stopped moving.
At 8:25:31 the video appears to show Mr. Floyd ceasing to breathe or speak.
Lane said, “want to roll him on his side.”
Kueng checked Mr. Floyd’s right wrist for a pulse and said, “I couldn’t find one.” None of the officers moved from their positions.
At 8:27:24, the defendant removed his knee from Mr. Floyd’s neck.
An ambulance and emergency medical personnel arrived, the officers placed Mr. Floyd on a gurney, and the ambulance left the scene.
Mr. Floyd was pronounced dead at Hennepin County Medical Center.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner (ME) conducted Mr. Floyd’s autopsy on May 26, 2020.
The full report of the ME is pending but the ME has made the following preliminary findings.
The autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.
Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease.
The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.
The defendant had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total.
Two minutes and 53 seconds of this was after Mr. Floyd was non-responsive.
Police are trained that this type of restraint with a subject in a prone position is inherently dangerous.
Defendant is in custody.”
*** View Document: ***
All four officers including officer Derek Chauvin were fired a day after George Floyd’s death.
Derek Chauvin been with an officer with the Minneapolis Police Department for 19 years.
The other officers involved in the incident were identified as Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng, both with the department for fewer than three years.
Meanwhile, more demonstrations were held across the country on Friday ranged through the night from peaceful to chaos.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, people burned buildings and city’s streets became smoky battleground; loud bangs rang out as people set off fireworks on street corners and threw Molotov cocktails and looters took advantage of the chaos to raid a liquor store, loading bottles and boxes into cars pulling up outside. Minnesota’s State Governor Tim Walz ordered 500 National Guard troops into Minneapolis, St Paul, and surrounding communities.
In Downtown Los Angeles, California, People marched and blocked motorists at intersections and along Interstate 110; clashes occurred between law enforcement and demonstrators when arrest were being made; some downtown businesses were tagged well other downtown businesses were broken into and looted; patrol vehicles were tagged and set on fire; fire cans and debris collected along the street put into piles and set on fire; and fireworks were launched into the sky.
In Downtown Phoenix, Arizona, People marched through the streets; locked in arms and peacefully marching together down the street well holding signs and demanding Justice for George Floyd, Stop Police Brutality and Black Lives Matter. Later in the evening, some people acted up and began to cause trouble. Reports that windows were smashed out at several businesses, including the Arizona Federal Theater, Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse and Chase Bank branch, and several patrol vehicles had windows smashed and tired slashed.
In Las Vegas, Nevada, people marched down the Vegas Strip; marching along the street well holding signs and demanding Justice for George Floyd, Stop Police Brutality and Black Lives Matter. There were clashes between law enforcement and demonstrators.
In Washington, DC, People marched along the street well holding signs and demanding Justice for George Floyd, Stop Police Brutality and Black Lives Matter. There were clashes between law enforcement and demonstrators. Protesters gathered outside the White House, with Donald Trump inside, and some tried to push through security barriers along Pennsylvania Avenue.
In Downtown Atlanta, Georgia, People marched through the streets well holding signs and demanding Justice for George Floyd, Stop Police Brutality and Black Lives Matter. Later, businesses were attacked and looted, fires were set in the street and patrol vehicles set on fire. CNN’s headquarters was attacked with damage reported along with College Football hall and The Omni Hotel. Georgia’s governor declared a state of emergency to activate up to 500 members of the state National Guard “to protect people and property in Atlanta”.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms condemned the violence. “This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms implored the protesters to no avail. “You are disgracing your city and the life of George Floyd and the life of everyone who has been killed. We are better than this. Go home, go home! What I see happening on the streets of Atlanta, this is not a protest, this is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., this is chaos. A protest has purpose. If you’re breaking out windows and running down the street with liquor in your hand, who are you honoring and remembering?” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Killer Mike, rap star and entrepreneur, cried as he encouraged people to fight injustice by filling out the Census and registering to vote. He also encouraged the return of the city’s police review board to get ahead of problems that have beset other cities. “After you burn down your own home, all you have left is char and ash,” said Killer Mike. Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr, reiterated her father’s message that constructive change can only come through nonviolence.
As morning arrived Saturday, people are seen cleaning up their community in Minneapolis, Minnesota. People grabbing brooms, shovels, dust pans and trash bags working to clean up businesses that were burned and streets that were trashed.
At the grocery store where all of this began, flowers, signs and a mural lay in front of the Cup Foods remembering George Floyd and even with messages from American Christian minister and activist Martin Luther King Jr.
Reports of more demonstrations to occur over the weekend and later into next week, all until justice for George Floyd is upheld and those involved get punished for their actions.
Many people across the country hope they are peaceful in the name of George Floyd, not use his death to do wrong like burn their own community or hurt innocent lives.