Four police officers sacked after the death of a black man during his arrest in the United States

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Four Minneapolis police officers were sacked on Tuesday, May 26, after the death of a black man following his muscular arrest, a drama which sparked anger in this city in the north of the United States.

“The Four Minneapolis Police Officers Involved in the Death of George Floyd Have Been Dismissed”, the city’s mayor Jacob Frey announced on Twitter, saying that “It was the right decision”. “Being Black in the United States shouldn’t be a death sentence”, he said earlier at a press conference, saying it was okay for people to be angry.

Died shortly after arriving at hospital

On Tuesday, passers-by gathered and laid flowers at the place of the arrest, while others displayed posters imploring the police.“Stop killing blacks”.

The scene, filmed Monday evening for ten minutes by a passerby on Facebook Live, shows George Floyd, aged about forty, tackled to the ground on his stomach by a policeman who immobilizes him with one knee on his neck.

The man complained for long minutes of not being able to breathe and of being in pain, while the agent, a white man, told him to stay calm. A second policeman keeps passersby away who start to get angry when George Floyd does not move and seems unconscious. “He doesn’t breathe anymore, he doesn’t move anymore, take his pulse”, repeats a witness, while the police wait for an ambulance, which arrives after several minutes. He was taken to a hospital where he died soon after.

The case recalls that of Eric Garner

A police spokesman said Monday evening that the man, who appeared to be intoxicated or drugged, had resisted arrest by officers called for a minor crime. It was after handcuffing him that the agent “Realized that the suspect was suffering from medical distress” and called an ambulance, he said.

The case is reminiscent of that of Eric Garner, a dead black man asphyxiated during his arrest by white police in New York in 2014. The affair had notably contributed to the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement and sparked a protest movement. Other police-reported deaths of African Americans had sparked riots across the country. Police in New York and Los Angeles have banned controversial immobilization methods, such as chest tackle.

Read also Black Lives Matter, the new voice of blacks in the United States

The lawyer of the family of George Floyd, Benjamin Crump, denounced a use “Excessive, excessive and inhuman force” for an offense ” non violent “, and asked for the end of “Racial profiling and [de] minimization of black lives by the police “.

Mr. Crump is also the lawyer for the relatives of Ahmaud Arbery, a black jogger killed by two whites in February in the state of Georgia; a case which recently aroused outrageous reactions after the video of the facts was broadcast.

“Justice must be done”

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo has announced that an investigation will be launched by the federal police. “We will fully cooperate in the investigation” of the FBI, he assured. The cameras carried by the police, which were on, could clarify the circumstances of the arrest.

Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar welcomed the sacking of the four police, saying on Twitter that it was “A step in the right direction”. “Justice must be done”, said the former Democratic primary candidate.

The powerful American Union for Civil Liberties (or ACLU, for American Civil Liberties Union, in English) denounced the police violence “Unjustified” against people of color, while strangulation immobilizations are “Technically prohibited”. “The public saw the video, calling it a” medical incident “is an insult”added the ACLU.

The death in 2016 of a black motorist killed by a police officer during a mundane police check had already caused controversy in Minnesota. Philando Castile, 32, was shot in front of his partner and a young girl in a shock sequence also filmed live.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Racial divide and disappointment of blacks under Obama

The World with AFP

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