The US has been convulsed by nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25.
On the night of May 25, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man was arrested after a deli employee called the Minneapolis police on suspicion of Floyd using a counterfeit $20 (£16.20) bill for buying cigarettes.Mr. Floyd had been living in Minneapolis for several years. He had started working as a bouncer a short while ago in the city but, like thousands of other Americans, was left jobless by the coronavirus pandemic.
Shortly after the call, at around 20:08, two police officers arrived, Thomas Lane and J.A. Kueng. Mr. Floyd was sitting with two adult passengers in a car parked around the corner.After approaching the car, one of the officers, Thomas Lane, pulled out his gun and pointed it at Floyd's open window, asking him to show his hands.
When Floyd put his hands on the steering wheel, Lane holstered his gun and then asked him to get " out of the car" and pulled him out of the vehicle. Then Mr. Floyd "actively resisted being handcuffed" but once he was in cuffs, though, Mr. Floyd" became compliant" as Lane sat him on the ground and asked for his name, identification, and told him why he was being arrested for "passing counterfeit currency".
Lane and Keung then stood Floyd up the further attempt to put Mr. Floyd in the police car. At 20.14 pm, Floyd stiffened up, fell to the ground, and told the officers he was claustrophobic. Officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao then arrived at the scene in a separate squad car. He and other officers were attempting to put Mr. Floyd in the police car. During this attempt, at 20:19, Police pulled Mr. Floyd away from the car, and he landed face down and still handcuffed, the report said. That's when witnesses take out their cameras started to film Mr. Floyd, who appeared to be in a distressed state .at 8.19 pm, Mr. Floyd was restrained by officers, while Chauvin placed his knee on the back of Floyd's neck.
"I can't breathe," As Floyd said repeatedly, pleading for his mother and begging "please, please, please". but the officers stayed in their positions. For eight minutes and 46 seconds, Mr. Chauvin kept his knee on Mr. Floyd's neck even after Mr. Floyd fell unconscious, and for a full minute after paramedics arrived at the scene.
The day after black man's death, the Police Department fired all four: Mr. Chauvin, Thoams Lane, J.Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, officers involved in the episode, and on Friday the Hennepin Country attorney, Mike Freeman, announced murder ad manslaughter charges against the officer who pinned the Black man to the ground. Mr. Chauvin, who is white, kept his knee on George Floyd's neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, according to the criminal complaint against him.
A medical examiner's office on Monday ruled that the death of George Floyd was a homicide due to asphyxiation. A press release from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner said that Floyd, the black man struggled to breathe as an officer pinned him down by kneeling on his neck, had drugs "methamphetamine and fentanyl" - along with hypertension and coronary artery disease-all
of which were possible other factors to his death.
But two doctors who laid down the independent autopsy of Floyd, 46, and two attorneys for the family said that he had no other health issues that may have contributed to his death. They argued that not only the officer (Mr. Chauvin) who was kneeing Floyd's neck killed him but also two officers ( Thomas lane and J. Alexander) who were pressing their weight onto Floyd's back while he was on the ground.
They also stated that they did not have information on any drug or alcohol use by Floyd, and one of the doctors, who performed the independent autopsy, said the evidence pointed to homicide by "mechanical asphyxia" meaning from some physical force that interfered with the oxygen supply.
The day after Mr. Floyd’s death, the Minneapolis Police Department fired all four of the police officers involved in the incident, and on Friday the Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman, announced homicide and manslaughter charges against Derek Chauvin. The three other former officers, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao all three who were participating in Mr. Floyd’s arrest will remain under investigation.