A Black man who yelled “I cannot breathe” as a white Minneapolis police officer pinned him down with his knee in the US state of Minnesota died late on Monday, police confirmed, drawing outrage from community members and leaders, and leading to the officers’ termination.
Video of the incident shows the police officer pinning down George Floyd, believed to be in his 40s, to the pavement with his knee on the man’s neck for several minutes. Floyd was identified by prominent civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, who said he had been retained by the Floyd family.
Floyd can be heard saying in the video: “Please, please, I cannot breathe.”
The officer tells Floyd to “relax”.
Floyd responds: “I can’t breathe. Please, the knee in my neck.”
The officer continues to hold down Floyd with his knee for several minutes, with Floyd pleading and asking for water.
“My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Please, please. I can’t breathe,” Floyd cries out, while moaning and trying to cough.
Floyd eventually appears motionless under the officer’s knee.
Those who were watching the incident unfold can be heard begging police to move off Floyd.
“He’s not f* moving,” an onlooker can be heard saying. “Get off of his f* neck.”
It is unclear what happened before and after the video was taken.