Four Minneapolis officers fired
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Four Minneapolis officers involved in the arrest of a handcuffed black man who died in police custody were fired Tuesday, hours after a bystander’s video showed the man pleading that he could not breathe as a white officer knelt on his neck.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced the firings on Twitter, saying “This is the right call.”
The man’s death Monday night after he struggled with officers was under investigation by the FBI and state law enforcement authorities. It immediately drew comparisons to the case of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died in 2014 in New York after he was placed in a chokehold by police and pleaded for his life, saying he could not breathe.
Frey apologized to the black community early Tuesday in a post on his Facebook page.
“Being Black in America should not be a death sentence. For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a Black man’s neck. Five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, you’re supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic, human sense,” Frey posted.
Police said the man matched the description of a suspect in a forgery case at a grocery store, and that he resisted arrest. The unidentified officer ignores his pleas. “Please, please, please, I can’t breathe. Please, man,” the man, who is handcuffed, is heard telling the officer.
The man slowly becomes motionless under the officer’s restraint.
The police union asked the public to wait for the investigation to take its course and not to “rush to judgment and immediately condemn our officers.”