The family of George Floyd is demanding justice, more specifically, that the four officers involved in the death of the 46-year-old be 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.
Floyd died on Monday, after Minneapolis police officers, who were responding to an alleged forgery, apprehended him. Officers claimed Floyd resisted arrest. Officers placed him in handcuffs and later said that he “appeared to be suffering medical distress.”
The video circulating on social media shows an officer with his knee pressed against Floyd’s neck as the 46-year-old pleads that he cannot breathe and that he is in pain.
“My stomach hurts,” Floyd can be heard telling the officer. “My neck hurts. Everything hurts.”
“Please, I can’t breathe,” he adds.
According to CNN, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey explicitly noted that the technique used was prohibited.
“The technique that was used is not permitted, is not a technique that our officers get trained in,” 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.”
The four officers present at the time were fired on Tuesday.
“For five minutes, we watched as a White officer pressed his knee to the neck of a Black man,” Frey said in a news conference. “When you hear someone calling for help, you are supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic human sense. What happened on Chicago and 38th this last night is simply awful. It was traumatic and it serves as a clear reminder of just how far we have to go.”
The tragic death reignited conversations about police brutality and police accountability and prompted protests at the intersection where Floyd was detained.
According to CNN, hundreds took to the streets, with the rallying cry “no justice, no peace.”
The FBI has opened an investigation into Floyd’s death to determine whether the officers involved “willfully deprived [Floyd] of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.”
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is also conducting a separate investigation.
Meanwhile, Floyd’s family is still trying to understand why this happened to the “gentle giant” who “didn’t hurt anybody.”
“Knowing my brother is to love my brother,” Philonise Floyd said. “They could have tased him, they could have maced him, instead they put their knee in his neck and just sat on him and then carried on.”
“They treated him worse than they treat animals,” he added.