The FBI and district attorney for Minnesota have failed to announce charges against four police officers involved in the death of unarmed black man George Floyd. During a highly-anticipated press conference Wednesday, officials said they were working hard to bring charges, but appealed for more eyewitnesses to Floyd’s arrest to help them do so successfully.
The FBI and Department of Justice commented on the investigation Thursday and urged witnesses to come forward after Floyd’s death on Monday in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd’s last moments alive were caught on camera, sparked national outrage and protests against police brutality.
‘We’re asking everyone that was present before, during and after the incident to come forward to help build the best picture of what occurred,’ Rainer Drolshagen, Special FBI agent in charge of investigation, said.
The press conference was delayed by more than an hour and US attorney for Minnesota Erica Macdonald said they were waiting for another ‘update’ that ‘unfortunately’ did not come.
The officers were identified as Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng on Wednesday. Chauvin, who was the officer filmed kneeling in Floyd’s neck, had already been identified by the lawyers representing him. All four officers were fired from the department after the incident which began with a complaint that Floyd tried to cash a bad check at a nearby deli.
On Wednesday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called on Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to press charges against the arresting officer for Floyd’s death on Monday.
‘If you had done it, or if I had done it, we would be behind bars right now,’ Frey said.
‘We watched for five whole excruciating minutes as a white officer firmly pressed his knee into the neck of an unarmed, handcuffed black man. I saw no threat. I saw nothing that would signal that this kind of force was necessary.’
Floyd’s family also called for the officers to be charged with murder in the wake of Floyd’s death.
‘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,’ Floyd’s cousin Terra Brown told CNN in an interview Tuesday night alongside Floyd’s two brothers.
‘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,’ Philonase Floyd said.
‘They treated him worse than they treat animals.’
‘They need to be charged with murder because what they did was murder. And almost the whole world has witnessed that because somebody was gracious enough to record it,’ Brown added.
‘They need to pay for what they did.’
Even President Donald Trump commented on Floyd’s death and said he ordered the FBI and DOJ to investigate the incident.
On Wednesday, the president said the agencies were ‘already well into an investigation as to the very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd.’
After Floyd’s death, the Minneapolis Police Department said he ‘was ordered to step from his car. After he got out, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect in handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.’
However, the newly released surveillance footage from a nearby restaurant seems to show Floyd complying with officers throughout the arrest, although the footage does not clearly show the moments Floyd is removed from the vehicle because the camera is on the opposite side of the door Floyd is removed from.
Mayor Frey said that the restraining technique used by Chauvin was ‘not authorized by the MPD…and it should not have been used period.’
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