“Please I can’t breathe” yells George Floyd. These are the last words of an African American man who died, handcuffed, as a white Minneapolis police officer pinned him down with his knee to Floyd’s neck in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Onsite onlookers were more than distraught as his lifeless body was lifted into an ambulance as he was later taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The incident took place late on Monday, police confirmed. Floyd is believed to be in his 40s.
Video of the incident shows the police officer pinning down George Floyd, believed to be in his 40s, to the pavement with his knee on the man’s neck for several minutes. Floyd was identified by prominent civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, who said he had been retained by the Floyd family.
Here’s his exact words from the video:
“Please, please, I cannot breathe.”
The officer tells Floyd to “relax”.
Floyd responds: “I can’t breathe. Please, the knee in my neck.”
The officer continues to hold down Floyd with his knee for several minutes, with Floyd pleading and asking for water.
“My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Please, please. I can’t breathe,” Floyd cries out, while moaning and trying to cough.
Floyd eventually appears motionless under the officer’s knee. Those who were watching the incident unfold can be heard begging police to move off Floyd.
“He’s not f****** moving,” an onlooker can be heard saying. “Get off of his f****** neck.”
Minneapolis Mayor Frey called the incident “wrong on every level”.A Facebook post he shared reads, “Being black in America should not be a death sentence.”
Since the fatal incident, four officers have been terminated. On Tuesday morning, protesters marched 2 miles from the incident location on Chicago Avenue to the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct building. Floyd’s other half Courteney Ross says,“He stood up for people, he was there for people when they were down, he loved people that were thrown away,” Ross said.
“We prayed over every meal, we prayed if we were having a hard time, we prayed if we were having a good time.”
“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,” says Floyd’s manager Jovanni Thunstrom, a local business owner.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump has been retained by the Floyd family. Crump joined “TMZ Live” Tuesday to express the shock, outrage and sadness so many are feeling following the incident. Along with representing Floyd’s family, Crump is a lawyer for Ahmaud Arbery’s family and he’s the renowned civil rights attorney who also worked with Trayvon Martin’s in 2012 and countless other unjustified, unsubstantiated killings of Black men.
As of Tuesday evening, protesters have surrounded a Minneapolis Police precinct demanding justice.