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4 Minnesota officers fired after death of unarmed man

Published: May. 26, 2020 at 6:40 PM EDT
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Four Minnesota police officers are behind bars after the death of an unarmed black man Tuesday.

CBS News reported that four Minneapolis Police Department officers were attempting to take a man, identified as Floyd George, into custody Tuesday.

The death of the man caused outrage after video footage of the arrest surfaced on social media. The video shows an officer kneeling on Floyd's neck as he cries out that he can't breathe. Floyd had been arrested on suspicion of forgery outside a deli on Monday. He died later at a hospital.

CBS News reported that the unidentified officers were referred to as 'former employees with the department' by Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey referred to the incident as "wrong at every level."

"This does not reflect the values that Chief Arradondo has worked tirelessly to instill. It does not represent the training we've invested in or the measures we've taken to ensure accountability. Being black in America should not be a death sentence," Frey said.

In the video, Floyd can be heard telling the officers "I can't breathe." An officer can be seen insisting Floyd get in the car, while the man repeatedly said he couldn't.

"My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts. ... (I need) water or something. Please. Please. I can't breathe, officer. I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe," said Floyd.

CBS reported that a bystander later said it appeared Floyd wasn't moving.

Floyd's family attorney, Benjamin Crump, reportedly called for the officers involved to be fired and for the officers to be charged with murder.

"We all watched the horrific death of George Floyd on video as witnesses begged the police officer to take him into the police car and get off his neck," Crump 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."

CBS reported that Arradondo said the FBI is investigating whether civil rights charges are appropriate. The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is also investigating. In a statement, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said it is working with federal prosecutors and that they will review the findings of the investigations to make a prosecution decision.

"We promise a thorough, expedited review consistent with our on-going commitment to justice," the county attorney's office said in a statement. "Every person is entitled to fairness; no person stands above the law."

The police department previously said Floyd resisted arrest and appeared to be suffering from medical distress. The police union urged against a rush to judgment.

Copyright 2020 WVLT via CBS. All rights reserved.