Four police officers dismissed after the death of a black man during his arrest in the United States

Passers-by gathered and laid flowers at the place of arrest for George Floyd, Tuesday, May 26, in Minneapolis.
Passers-by gathered and laid flowers at the place of arrest for George Floyd, Tuesday, May 26, in Minneapolis. Elizabeth Flores / AP

Four Minneapolis police officers were sacked on Tuesday, May 26, after the death of a black man following a muscular arrest, a drama which sparked anger in this city in the north of the United States.

"The Four Minneapolis Police Officers Involved in the Death of George Floyd Have Been Dismissed", the city’s mayor Jacob Frey announced on Twitter, saying that "It was the right decision". "Being Black in the United States shouldn't be a death sentence"he said before at a press conference, saying it was okay for people to be angry.

Died shortly after arriving at hospital

On Tuesday, passers-by gathered and laid flowers at the place of the arrest, while others displayed posters imploring the police."Stop killing blacks".

The scene, filmed Monday night for ten minutes by a passerby on Facebook Live, shows George Floyd, in his forties, tackled to the ground on his stomach by a policeman who immobilizes him with one knee on his neck.

The man complained for long minutes that he could not breathe and was in pain, while the agent, a white man, told him to stay calm. A second policeman keeps passersby away who start to get carried away when George Floyd does not move and seems unconscious. "He doesn't breathe anymore, he doesn't move anymore, take his pulse", repeats a witness while the police wait for an ambulance which arrives after several minutes. He was taken to a hospital where he died soon after.

The case is reminiscent of that of Eric Garner

A police spokesman said Monday evening that the man, who appeared to be intoxicated or drugged, had resisted arrest by officers called for a minor crime. It was after handcuffing him that the officer "Realized that the suspect was suffering from medical distress" and called an ambulance, he said.

The case recalls that of Eric Garner, a black man who died after being asphyxiated during his arrest by white police in New York in 2014. The case had notably contributed to the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement ("Black life matters") and sparked a protest movement. Other deaths of blacks at the hands of the police had caused riots in the country. New York and Los Angeles police have banned controversial immobilization methods, such as chest tackle.

Read also Black Lives Matter, the new voice of blacks in the United States

George Floyd’s family lawyer Benjamin Crump denounced a practice "Excessive, excessive and inhuman force" for an offense " non violent ", and asked for the end of "Racial profiling and (of) minimization of black lives by the police ".

Crump is also a lawyer for relatives of Ahmaud Arbery, a black jogger killed by two whites in Georgia's state in February, a case that recently sparked outrage after a video of the incident was released.

"Justice must be done"

Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo has said an investigation will be launched by the federal police. "We will fully cooperate with the investigation" from the FBI, he said. The cameras worn by the police, which were on, could clarify the circumstances of the arrest.

Minnesota Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar hailed the sacking of the four police, saying on Twitter that it was "A step in the right direction". "Justice must be done", said the former Democratic primary candidate.

Powerful ACLU civil rights association denounces police violence "Unjustified" against people of color while strangling immobilizations are "Technically prohibited". "The audience saw the video, call it a medical incident is an insult ", added the ACLU.

The death in 2016 of a black motorist killed by a police officer during a mundane police check had already sparked controversy in Minnesota. Philando Castile, 32, was shot dead in front of his partner and a young girl in a shock sequence also filmed live.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Racial divide and disappointment of blacks under Obama

The World with AFP


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