(TMU) – Four officers from the Minneapolis Police Department have been fired over the killing of George Floyd on Tuesday, in perhaps the most high-profile and gut-wrenching example of police brutality in the U.S. in recent years.
In dramatic video that is being shared tens of thousands of times across social media, Floyd can be seen being begging for his life and repeatedly screaming “I can’t breathe” as a Minneapolis police officer holds the man with his neck on his knee until he chokes to death.
On Tuesday, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced that the four officers involved in Monday’s deadly incident are now “former employees” of the force. While an investigation of the incident by local and federal authorities remains pending, Arradondo admitted:
“We know there are inherent dangers in the profession of policing but the vast majority of the work we do never require the use of force.”
In response to the four officers’ termination, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey greeted the move as “the right call.”
Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated.
This is the right call.
— Mayor Jacob Frey (@MayorFrey) May 26, 2020
The apparent homicide of Floyd threatens to unleash a new wave of unrest over the needless killing of an unarmed and helpless Black man in broad daylight, and comes in the midst of continued outrage over the vigilante-style killing of Ahmaud Arbery by three white men in a Georgia suburb.
While the names of the four fired officers involved in Floyd’s killing haven’t yet been released, the victim’s family’s attorney Benjamin Crump has identified two of the perpetrators as officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thou. Now-former Officer Chauvin is believed to be the main cop responsible for killing Floyd.
We did it!! Your calls to @jacob_frey led to the termination of all four officers 👏🏾 Now call DA Mike Freeman (612-348-5550) and tell him to ARREST & CHARGE these officers for the murder of #GeorgeFloyd. We must continue to fight for #JusticeForFloyd!! #SayHisName pic.twitter.com/2VHCS7doQp
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) May 26, 2020
Meanwhile, the Minneapolis Star Tribune has uncovered “records and news accounts [showing] that Chauvin has been involved in at least three police-involved shootings over his career with the MPD: Wayne Reyes in 2006, and Leroy Martinez and Ira Latrell Toles, both in 2011.”
MPD spokesman John Elder also told the Star Tribune that the restraint technique using Chauvin’s knee went against department training. Elder said:
“In my years as an officer, that would not be what I would ever consider a chokehold.”
In video captured by a bystander at the intersection of Chicago Ave. and East 38th St. at around 8 p.m. on Monday, Floyd can be heard crying out that he can’t breathe while a white officer kneels directly on his neck for several minutes.
the now lifeless subject of your command and control policing ,
the human being under your brutal knee.
— 𝐑𝐞𝐯. 𝐂𝐨𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐖𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐚𝐦 𝐁𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐬 (@CornellWBrooks) May 26, 2020
In the disturbing footage, Floyd – who is believed to be in his 40s – begs for mercy for several minutes to no avail. He said:
“Please, I can’t breathe. I can’t move … My stomach hurts, my neck hurts. Everything hurts.”
While the shirtless man also cries out for his mother, bystanders also plead with the officer to simply let the man get some oxygen. The witnesses can be head saying:
“Why you got to hold him down? He’s not even resisting arrest.
“He’s not doing nothing, he was just getting in the car.”
An officer can then be heard replying: “This is why you don’t do drugs, kids.’
To which a bystander sharply responded:
“This ain’t about drugs, bro! He’s human … You’re enjoying it. Look at you. Your body language, you bum. You know that’s bogus right now.”
While a female voice is heard saying, “His nose is bleeding.”
Finally, a witness can then be heard saying:
“You’re going to just sit there with your knee on his neck? He’s not moving. Did you kill him?”
At that point, it becomes apparent in the video that the body of Floyd was non-responsive. He died a short time later after being transported to a nearby hospital, according to the department.
In a statement that came before the announced termination of the four officers, the Minneapolis Police Department claim that the officers were responding to an alleged “forgery in progress.” The statement added:
“After [the suspect] got out [of his car], he physically resisted officers … Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and note he appeared to be suffering medical distress.”
An update from the department’s PIO: pic.twitter.com/DZDLHp99Wd
— Libor Jany (@StribJany) May 26, 2020
The case is now being investigated by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as well as the FBI. In a Tuesday press conference, Mayor Frey blasted the police conduct as “wrong on every level” while saying Floyd’s life “mattered.”
Continuing, the mayor said:
“Being Black in America should not be a death sentence.
“For five minutes, we watched as a white officer pressed his knee into the neck of a Black man. For five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, you are supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic human sense.”
As outrage mounts on a global scale, critics and social media users are drawing comparisons to the 2014 killing of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old Black male who was placed in a chokehold by New York City police and similarly died begging for his life and crying “I can’t breathe.”
The killing of Garner came less than a month before the killing of Black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and precipitated one of the most active years of protest and community unrest the U.S. had seen in decades.
This is murder. Disgusting. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with US???? https://t.co/wesEwd4Bb2
— Steve Kerr (@SteveKerr) May 26, 2020
Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is also representing the family of Black 25-year-old Georgia murder victim Ahmaud Arbery, said in a statement:
“This abusive, excessive and inhumane use of force cost the life of a man who was being detained by the police for questioning about a non-violent charge,”
“We will seek justice for the family of George Floyd, as we demand answers from the Minnesota Police Department. How many ‘while Black’ deaths will it take until the racial profiling and undervaluing of Black lives by police finally ends?”
The video of a Minneapolis police officer killing a defenseless, handcuffed man is one of the most vile and heartbreaking images I’ve ever seen. The officer who stood guard is just as responsible as his partner; both must be held fully accountable. This must stop now.
— Mayor Melvin Carter (@MayorCarter) May 26, 2020
Local social movement organizer Nekima Levy-Armstrong told the Star Tribune that viewing the footage made her “sick to her stomach” yet was sadly typical of the brutal treatment meted out by police toward Black men in the United States. She added:
“Whatever the man may have done should not have ended in a death sentence … What started as an alleged economic incident once again turned deadly for a black man.”
On Tuesday afternoon, dozens of community members began to gather at the same intersection where Floyd was killed, signaling outrage in Minneapolis that is sure to mount in coming days. The peaceful protest was held somberly as mourners placed flowers and balloons at the site of the killing.
However, it remains to be seen whether the community will be willing to maintain its current stance of seeming passivity if Floyd’s killers are not given due punishment for the killing of an unarmed and helpless Black man.
Protesters are in the streets calling for justice after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in Minneapolis Police custody Monday night. A video taken by a bystander showed an officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for several minutes as he repeatedly told the officers he couldn't breathe. MORE: https://bit.ly/2zlRYgN
Posted by Fox 11 Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Man’s Hand Amputated After Alabama Cops Hold Him In “Unbearably Tight” Handcuffs for Hours
An Alabama man is suing the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office for excessive force and civil rights violations after a sheriff’s deputy handcuffed him too tightly for several hours, resulting in major injuries that ultimately led to the amputation of his left hand.
Giovanni Loyola, 26, was at his mother’s trailer in Pinson, Alabama, on Feb. 16, 2020, when three sheriff’s deputies arrived in response to reports of an alleged fight between two men wielding firearms.
According to the lawsuit, a “Deputy Godber” grabbed Loyola by the wrist and roughly detained him mere moments after Loyola answered the door.
At that point, the deputy then pulled Loyola down the stairs and “slammed” him against the car before throwing him to the ground and punching him in the face. The deputy proceeded to handcuff Loyola in a manner that as “unbearably tight.”
Loyola claims that complications from the incident led to the amputation of his hand 10 months later.
According to the deputy’s report, Loyola was allegedly intoxicated and fighting with family members before he fought the deputies and resisted arrest. Loyola, however, claims that he was merely watching television.
During the arrest, Loyola complained that he was feeling numb in his left hand but deputy Godber ignored his pleas.
“The handcuffs remained tightly on Plaintiff’s wrists until they were removed hours later at the jail,” the amended complaint read. “After Plaintiff got out of jail on February 28, 2020, his left wrist was still in tremendous pain.”
Following his release from jail, Loyola checked into a local hospital and was told that he had a severe blood flow issue requiring surgery. Upon admission at Ascension St. Vincent’s East hospital in Birmingham, his fingertips were grey and doctors had a “concern for necrosis.”
Following multiple hospital visits and four surgeries over the course of 10 months, he eventually had the left hand amputated.
“Deputy Godber handcuffed Plaintiff’s wrists so tightly that Plaintiff immediately lost sensation in one hand, and Deputy Godber refused to loosen the handcuffs even after Plaintiff told him that they were too tight and were causing him pain,” Loyola’s attorneys argued. “These actions and inactions constituted unreasonable and excessive force.”
The lawsuit also alleges that deputies unlawfully searched his home without a warrant. Loyola is now suing for compensatory damages related to the physical and mental toll of the ordeal, his loss of income due to an inability to work, as well as medical costs, legal fees, and punitive damages.
‘Horrible History’: Mass Grave for 215 Indigenous Children Found at Canada Boarding School
Indigenous people are in shock and Canadians are reeling after a grim discovery cast a harsh light on the North American country’s bloody history of native genocide.
On Thursday, the chief of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Indigenous community confirmed that it had found the remains of 215 children buried in a mass grave at a state-run boarding school, including some as young as three.
The discovery of the mass grave at the Kamloops Indian Residential School offers a sobering confirmation of why such a large number of Indigenous children seized from their homes by Canadian authorities never made it back home – validating some of the worst fears of Tk’emlúps community members as to why their lost loved ones seemingly disappeared.
“It’s a harsh reality and it’s our truth, it’s our history,” said Chief Rosanne Casimir said at a news conference, reports New York Times. “And it’s something that we’ve always had to fight to prove. To me, it’s always been a horrible, horrible history.”
Chief Casimir said that there was always “a knowing” about the disturbing history at boarding schools like the Kamloops Indian Residential School and that proof finally came this past weekend thanks to ground-penetrating radar technology.
The school operated from 1890 to the late 1970s, with enrollment peaking at around 500 during the 1950s. Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has confirmed that large amounts of Indigenous children fled the schools or died there, their whereabouts unknown. Former students have testified to the horrific sexual, mental and physical abuse they suffered while enrolled at the schols.
The Tk’emlúps Heritage Park where the school was located has now been closed as crews scour the area for more possible remains.
Children as young as three were students at the school, which was once the largest in Canada’s boarding schools for First Nations children.
It is believed that the deaths were swept under the rug and never documented, although Indigenous scholars are working with the Royal British Columbia Museum to find any possible records that may exist.
Chief Casimir has vowed that the Tk’emlups community would take full responsibility to do justice to the hundreds of “lost children” and their families.
“We sought out a way to confirm that knowing out of deepest respect and love for those lost children and their families, understanding that Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is the final resting place of these children,” Chief Casimir said in a statement.
Work to identify the site began in the early 2000s and was led by Indigenous authorities in tandem with ceremonial Knowledge Keepers to ensure that cultural protocols were respected. State-of-the-art radar technology used to identify potential mass graves led to the recent breakthrough.
“With access to the latest technology, the true accounting of the missing students will hopefully bring some peace and closure to those lives lost and their home communities,” Casimir noted.
“At this time we have more questions than answers,” Casimir added.
CA Prison Guards Caught Lying About Brutal Torture and Beheading by Satanist Inmate
Some California prison guards are in hot water after they were found to have lied in their reports after a Satan-worshipping inmate brutally slaughtered his cellmate, according to a state investigation.
On March 9, 2019, 31-year-old inmate Jaime Osuna decapitated his cellmate Luis Romero, 44, and then dissected him in what the Los Angeles Times has described as “one of the most heinous slayings inside the California prison system.” The grisly murder also raises fresh questions about why Romero was assigned to a cell with Osuna, a self-described satanist with a long history of attacking his cellmates.
Osuna had been serving a life sentence for the murder and torture of a woman in 2011, and had never been given a cellmate in the past. Decked out in face tattoos and known for his over-the-top Charles Manson-like antics, Osuna boasted of his love for torturing people and mocked his victim’s family in court.
Romero, an inmate who had spent 27 years in prison for a second-degree murder he was convicted for as a teenager, was assigned to the same cell as Osuna just before he was going to be eligible for parole.
Using a homemade knife, Osuna cut out one of Romero’s eyes, chopped off his finger, removed a portion of his ribs and sliced off a part of a lung before eventually decapitating him. He then manipulated the corpse into a pose and cut the sides of his mouth to resemble a smile. He allegedly used sheets to cover the bars of the cell.
When guards finally discovered the scene, Osuna was wearing a necklace he made from Romero’s body parts.
However, guards reported on the prior night that both men had been alive. The cell was never checked throughout the night, according to a state probe, while two officers falsely reported that Romero was alive at the time when he was being brutally murdered. Two other officers also failed to properly count inmates on the night of the horrific slaying.
The state report adds that the prison’s internal affairs process was shoddy, while officers who lied and witnesses were never interviewed.
Osuna has since been transferred to the psychiatric inpatient program at Salinas Valley State Prison. He has been diagnosed with unspecified schizophrenia spectrum, antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder and has been ruled not competent to stand trial for the brutal murder of Romero.
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