Minneapolis mayor calls for white police officer to be charged in black man’s death

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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Wednesday called on prosecutors to file criminal charges against a white police officer caught on a bystander’s video pressing his knee into the neck of African-American man who later died at a hospital.

The officer along with three others involved in the apprehension of George Floyd, 46, were dismissed from the police force on Tuesday, the day after the deadly incident unfolded in Minnesota’s largest city.

The video, which has raised a national outcry, shows an African-American man lying face down in the street with a white officer pinning his knee against his throat. The black man is gasping for air and groaning, “I can’t breathe,” while bystanders beseech the officer to let him up.

“Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail? If you had done it or I had done it we would be behind bars right now,” Frey said during a news briefing. “I am calling on Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman … to charge the arresting officer in this case.”A

The city identified the four officers on Wednesday as Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng. It did not say which officer had his knee against Floyd’s throat, and provided no further information.

The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, the union that represents the city’s police force, said in a statement to local media the officers were cooperating with the investigation and it was “not time to rush to judgment.”

“We must review all video. We must wait for the medical examiner’s report,” the union said, asking the community to remain calm.

This article was originally published on reuters.com

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