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‘Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?’: Minneapolis mayor calls for charges against arresting officer

KSTP
Updated: May 27, 2020 06:41 PM
Created: May 27, 2020 12:46 PM

Wednesday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called on Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to charge the police officer involved in the incident that led to the death of George Floyd.

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Floyd was pronounced dead Monday night after he was taken into custody by police in south Minneapolis. A video that was circulated online shows an officer holding his knee on the back of Floyd's neck for several minutes.

A source with knowledge of the investigation identified the officer as Derek Chauvin. Chauvin and three other officers have been fired in connection to the incident.

"I've wrestled with, more than anything else over the last 36 hours, one fundamental question: Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail," Frey said. "If you had done it, or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now."

Frey went on to say, "We cannot turn a blind eye, it is on us as leaders to see this for what it is and call it what it is. George Floyd deserves justice, his family deserves justice, the black community deserves justice and our city deserves justice."

Frey declined to say what specific charge he wanted to see placed against the officer.

The mayor also spoke to the protests that occurred Tuesday night at the location where the incident took place, as well as the Minneapolis Police Department Third Precinct. At the Third Precinct, officers fired chemical irritants to disperse protesters. Damaged property was also reported at the precinct.

"I get the need to protest," Frey said. "I fully understand and appreciate it. People need a way to vent, especially in a time of so much sorrow and anger."

Frey added he supports the rights of protesters but said "those rights, they must stop when other's public safety is put at risk."

In response, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office issued the following statement Wednesday evening:

This office is aware of Mayor Frey’s comments. We are working with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Hennepin County Medical Examiner to expeditiously gather and review all of the evidence in the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd.

The videotaped death of Mr. Floyd, which has outraged us and people across the country, deserves the best we can give and that is what this office will do.


More from KSTP: 

'This is the right call': Officers involved in fatal Minneapolis incident fired, mayor says

Police training expert speaks about fatal Minneapolis incident

Surveillance video shows events leading up to George Floyd's arrest



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