The death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, has been described as ‘completely and utterly messed up’ by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. Learn more about George and details concerning his tragic death.
George Floyd, an unarmed black man, could be heard pleading “please, please I can’t breathe” while pinned to the ground by a white officer. Footage of the disturbing incident surfaced on May 26, a day after Minneapolis police responded to a complaint of a “forgery in progress,” according to a police statement (per CBS News). One of the officers pinned George by the neck with his knee outside a police car, while the others stood nearby. “My stomach hurts…my neck hurts,” George continued to say in the clip, taken by a witness [SEEN HERE]. Sadly, George soon became unconscious and was filmed being taken away on a stretcher. He was carried away in an ambulance and died. HollywoodLife has reached out to the Minneapolis Police Department and George’s family lawyer for comment.
The four officers — who were responding to an unidentified “suspect” — have been “terminated” from the Minneapolis Police Department, which Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced on May 26. “Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated. This is the right call,” the mayor tweeted on Tuesday. The mayor went on to call the death “completely and utterly messed up” in a press conference, which you can read the full transcription of below. The officers (who have not been named by Minneapolis police) have not released statements nor pleaded guilty, and the backlash was swift across social media, especially so soon after the shooting death of another unarmed black man: Ahmaud Arbery. Here’s what else you should know about George and the circumstances surrounding his tragic death:
1. George’s death is now being investigated. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating the circumstances surrounding an incident during which a man died while being taken into custody by Minneapolis Police Department officers,” the Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced in a statement obtained by HollywoodLife on May 26. The BCA is now asking to speak with witnesses and people who filmed the incident, and revealed that the officer’s names will be revealed “once initial interviews with incident participants and witnesses have taken place.”
2. In the full police statement, the “suspect” was never confirmed to be George. “Officers were advised that the suspect was sitting on top of a blue car and appeared to be under the influence. Two officers arrived and located the suspect, a male believed to be in his 40s, in his car. He was ordered to step from his car. After he got out, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers called for an ambulance,” read the police statement provided by CBS News.
3. George’s death has sparked outcry among celebrities. L.A.’s Finest star Gabrielle Union retweeted a call to action for the officers to be charged “with murder.” Likewise, Atypical star Michael Rapaport accused the fired police officers of being “f–king murderes” in a Twitter video, and Alyssa Milano tweeted, “Police need to be convicted for the murder of George Floyd. How many black lives need to be lost for us to understand the gravity of what’s going on? I may never know, understand or experience what people of color go through but I’m w/ you all. I see you. I’m here for the fight.”
4. George was beloved among his peers. He worked as security for Conga Latin Bistro, and the establishment’s owner is now mourning the loss of an employee whom he also considered his best friend. “He was the type of guy he was friendly to everybody. He didn’t discriminate, whether you were hispanic, you were black, you were white, he treated everybody with respect and that’s what I love about him,” Jovani Thunstrom told CBSN Minnesota.
5. George had moved from Houston, Texas for a “fresh start” in Minneapolis. “He came to Minnesota to get a fresh start, and Minneapolis to him we like this place where people were just kind and open to him,” Courteney Ross, who was described as George’s “other half,” told CBSN Minnesota as well.
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