George Floyd’s family members say they want the four officers at the scene charged with murder. "They were supposed to be there to serve and to protect and I didn't see a single one of them lift a finger to do anything to help while he was begging for his life. Not one of them tried to do anything to help him," Tera Brown, Floyd's cousin, told CNN's Don Lemon on Tuesday.
"They need to be charged with murder because what they did was murder," Brown said. "And almost the whole world has witnessed that because somebody was gracious enough to record it."
"They need to pay for what they did," she said.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Tina Smith (D-MN) yesterday sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr calling for a thorough investigation into the events that led to the fatal arrest of George Floyd on Memorial Day.
On Monday, Minneapolis police officers responded to a call from Cup Foods reporting an alleged forgery attempt. The responding officers were later caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck as Floyd pleaded and several bystanders also pleaded for his life. According to family attorney Ben Crump, the officer sustained the mortal maneuver for over nine minutes. Appearing lifeless, Floyd was taken by ambulance to the Hennepin County Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Surveillance camera video from a neighboring business shows Floyd being led away from a vehicle in handcuffs under arrest prior his death.
Floyd was sitting in a SUV with two other people when officers arrested, handcuffed and made him sit against a wall across the street from Cup Foods, at 38th and Chicago in South Minneapolis. Officers then moved Floyd to near the front of the grocery store, where spectator videos show him pinned to the ground next to the squad car, with a policeman’s knee on his neck.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the officer was wrong in using this method to restrain Floyd. "The technique that was used is not permitted; is not a technique that our officers get trained in on," he said. "And our Chief has been very clear on that piece. There is no reason to apply that kind of pressure with a knee to someone's neck."
Frey said he supported the police department's decision to fire the four officers. He offered his condolences to Floyd's family, adding that what the video shows was "utterly messed up."
"For five minutes, we watched as a white officer pressed his knee to the neck of a Black man," Frey said. "When you hear someone calling for help, you are supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic human sense."
The mayor said being Black in America should not be a death sentence.