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The death of George Floyd, an African-American man, occurred in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, on May 25, 2020. Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds; 2 minutes and 53 seconds of which occurred after Floyd became unresponsive, according to the criminal complaint filed against Chauvin. Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on the road throughout that time.Officers Thomas K. Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng participated in Floyd’s arrest,with Kueng holding Floyd’s back, Lane holding his legs, and Thao looking on as he stood nearby.
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The incident occurred during Floyd’s arrest in Powderhorn, a neighborhood south of downtown Minneapolis, and was recorded on the smartphones of bystanders.The arrest was made after Floyd allegedly attempted to use a $20 bill in a deli, which an employee identified as counterfeit. Police stated that Floyd “physically resisted” after being ordered to exit his vehicle before the video was filmed.Surveillance footage from a nearby restaurant appeared to contradict police claims, with Floyd shown falling twice while being escorted by the officers.The criminal complaint stated Floyd “did not voluntarily get in the car and struggled with the officers, intentionally falling down, saying he was not going in the car, and refusing to stand still” based on body cameras worn by Lane and Kueng. Video recording by a witness, showing the arrested Floyd repeating “Please”, “I can’t breathe”, and “Don’t kill me”, was widely circulated on social media platforms and broadcast by the media. All four officers were fired the next day.
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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is conducting a federal civil rights investigation into the incident at the request of the Minneapolis Police Department. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is also investigating possible violations of Minnesota statutes.On May 29, Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second degree manslaughter for Floyd’s death, with Hennepin County attorney Michael O. Freeman saying he anticipated charges to be brought against the other three officers at the scene of Floyd’s death.
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After Floyd’s death, demonstrations and protests in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area were initially peaceful on May 26, but later that day became violent as windows were smashed at a police precinct, two stores were set on fire, and many stores were looted and damaged. Some demonstrators skirmished with police, who fired tear gas and rubber bullets. A preliminary autopsy found no indication that Floyd died of strangulation or traumatic asphyxia, but that the combined effects of being restrained, underlying health conditions, including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease, and potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death. Attorneys for Floyd’s family announced that they have requested an independent autopsy.
Floyd’s death has been compared to the 2014 death of Eric Garner. Garner, also an unarmed black man, repeated “I can’t breathe” eleven times after being placed in a chokehold by a New York police officer during an arrest in Staten Island.
Source : Death of George Floyd