Days after a black american man lost his life to white police brutality over forging a $20 note, Americans have united and gathered in the streets to protest the excessive use of force by the white officers involved.
Dereck Chauvin, 44, and three of his colleagues initially approached the now deceased Mr Floyd to issue an arrest for forgery. While there are no videos that show the events that led to his arrest, a new video has surfaced that shows three police officers kneeling and pinning him to the ground.
Mr Floyd repeatedly notified the officers that he couldn’t breath but was ignored. For five minutes he had his airways compromised. Mr Floyd was subsequently released two minutes after he had noticeably lost his pulse.
An autopsy report released by Hennepin County Medical Centre shows that Mr Floyd had a heart problem which was exacerbated by the officers’ actions. “The combined effects of Mr Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death,’ said the report.
Protesters have gathered in over twenty US cities consequently putting pressure on the Hennepin County Attorney’s office to charge Chauvin with third degree murder and mansalughter. The other three officers, while not yet charged, were relieved of their duties with immediate effect.
Uprisings have erupted in cities nationwide including Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Washington DC, New York City, Atlanta and many more with some protesters resorting to vandalism and looting. President Trump’s attempt to quieten down protests only made the situation more volatile. The president used the derogatory term “thugs” to refer to black protesters and threatened military violence on them.
“These thugs are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen…Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he tweeted.
Trump’s statements were viewed as racist and Twitter has since censored his tweet for glorifying violence against black people. The situation in the country is tense with protesters rife with anger leading the White House to come to a standstill.