Bridgett Floyd, the sister of George Floyd, spoke to Good Morning America on Wednesday (May 27) about her brother’s death, shortly after he was detained by Minneapolis police officers. Floyd said she thought she was in a dream when she received the horrifying call on Monday night. “Everything went blank,” she said. “I had a very hard time taking that, taking that in.”
As Colorlines reported on Tuesday (May 26), disturbing video of Floyd’s encounter with police hit social media shortly after the 46-year-old’s death.
[Floyd] can be heard gasping for breath as an officer kneels on his neck. Someone off-camera tells the cops, “You got him down, now let him breathe.” The police report from May 25 noted that “at no time were weapons of any type used by anyone involved in this incident,” yet officers “noted [the man] appeared to be suffering medical distress.” He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center via ambulance, where he later died.
Bridgett Floyd told “GMA” she hasn’t watched the video, but the contents have been described to her. “It’s wrong. I don’t understand how someone could possibly let an individual go out like that,” she said. “I’m just imagining it in my head, and it’s very heartbreaking.”
The Minneapolis police department quickly moved to fire the four officers believed to be involved in Floyd’s death. The Washington Post reports the officers haven’t been identified at this point, but Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey made a statement Tuesday saying all of them have been terminated.
Bridgett Floyd told “GMA“ firing the officers simply wouldn’t do enough to bring her brother justice. “They murdered my brother. They killed him,” she said. “Firing them is just not enough.” Mayor Frey on Wednesday also called for charges against the arresting officer in Floyd’s case. “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.”
Anger over Floyd’s death swelled across Minneapolis and the rest of the nation in the hours following news of his passing. Thousands of protestors took to the streets on Tuesday evening, calling for an end to police brutality, The Post reports. The fed-up protestors smashed squad cars inside the Minneapolis Police’s 3rd Precinct parking lot, according to local WCCO-CBS Minnesota. Police in riot gear responded by firing flash grenades and throwing tear gas into the crowd.
RAW VIDEO: Protesters inside Minneapolis Police’s 3rd Precinct parking lot smashing squad cars, before officers show up and fire flash grenades inside to get them to disperse. WARNING: This video contains violence and strong language. READ MORE: https://t.co/HZTamsXTCN pic.twitter.com/Cktz07ftSg— WCCO — CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) May 27, 2020
Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the Floyd family, told GMA we can’t forget the brutal nature of Floyd’s death. “It was nine minutes,” he said. “Just imagine what George Floyd endured for those nine minutes begging for breath, begging for life.”
You deserved your breath, your dignity, your life. Not to die in the street, murdered by a white cop’s knee on your neck. You deserve our tears, our prayers, our rage, our action. We must act — for you — and for all of those were no cameras are present. We must. #GeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/JeMNUtkXv6— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 27, 2020
Crump also called for peaceful protests paired with social distancing moving forward, according to a statement obtained by Reuters. “We cannot sink to the level of our oppressors, and we must not endanger others during this pandemic. We will demand and ultimately force lasting change by shining a light on treatment that is horrific and unacceptable and by winning justice,” he said.
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