The Democratic Mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, on Wednesday demanded that the Hennepin County Attorney General’s office charge the police officer involved in the incident that caused the death of George Floyd.
While speaking at an update on the case, Frey said that he had "wrestled with" one fundamental question over the last 36 hours: "Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?"
NEW: Minneapolis Mayor Frey calls on Hennepin County attorney to charge the arresting officer in death of George Floyd.— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 27, 2020
"Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?"
(Corrects: Hennepin County attorney) pic.twitter.com/EjGQmGtwmL
"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", he added.
He said that every one of the officers present could have helped removed "his knee from George Floyd's neck".
Frey declined to say what specific charge the officer in question should be given.
In reference to demonstrations that broke out on Tuesday night which led to the use of tear gas by the Minneapolis Police Department and damaged property, the mayor said that he "understands" and appreciates the need to protest but explained that the right to protest ends when people's lives are put in danger.
Four officers involved in Floyd’s arrest have been dismissed. A video of George Floyd has circulated the internet showing him yelling for his life and saying that he can't breathe. The footage shows an officer kneeling on his neck while arresting him.
Floyd was pronounced dead later on Monday as a result of the incident.
The incident mirrors the case of Eric Garner, who also died after being arrested by a police officer. Like George Floyd, Garner's arrest was also caught on camera as he tells the officer who has him in a chokehold that he can't breathe.