As heated protests over George Floyd's death continue, Minnesota governor warns of 'extremely dangerous situation'

1 month 2 weeks 1 day ago Thursday, May 28 2020 May 28, 2020 Thursday, May 28, 2020 6:09:08 AM CDT May 28, 2020 in News
By: Omar Jimenez, Nicole Chavez and Jason Hanna, CNN

(CNN) - Hundreds remained on the streets of Minneapolis late Wednesday night protesting the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died after pleading for help as a police officer pinned him to the ground with his knee on Floyd's neck.

The demonstrations, which began Wednesday, were initially peaceful but turned "extremely dangerous," according to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz.

"The situation near Lake Street and Hiawatha in Minneapolis has evolved into an extremely dangerous situation," Walz said on Twitter. "For everyone's safety, please leave the area and allow firefighters and paramedics to get to the scene."

Police officers created a barrier outside the police precinct that protesters have been targeting, smashing its windows by throwing items including water bottles. Authorities have responded by shooting tear gas.

Across the street from the precinct, the fire department was responding to an AutoZone store in flames, according to a CNN team on the ground. Groups of demonstrators looted and damaged stores in the surrounding areas, according to CNN's observations.

An attorney representing Floyd's family, Benjamin Crump, said in a statement Wednesday that he and Floyd's relatives are calling for peaceful protests and social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"We cannot sink to the level of our oppressors, and we must not endanger others during this pandemic," the statement said. "We will demand and ultimately force lasting change by shining a light on treatment that is horrific and unacceptable and by winning justice."

The four officers involved in Floyd's death were fired from the department Tuesday, Minneapolis police said.

The officers involved in the incident were identified by Minneapolis police as: Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, according to the police website.

An attorney for Chauvin, says his client is the officer seen on video restraining Floyd with his knee. Tom Kelly says he will not yet be releasing a statement on Chauvin's behalf.

Thomas Plunkett, who is representing Kueng said, "At this time, out of respect for Mr. Floyd, we are declining all invitations to discuss these painful events."

Earl Gray is representing another of the officers involved but has declined to say who his client is.

CNN has not determined the attorney for the fourth officer.

Minneapolis mayor calls for charges

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Wednesday called for criminal charges against the police officer who was seen pinningFloyd to the ground with his knee in an incident that is spurring street protests and local and federal investigations.

"What I can say with certainty, based on what I saw, is that ... the officer who had his knee on the neck of George Floyd should be charged," Frey said in a news conference Wednesday.

Frey declined to say what the officer should be charged with, and said his knowledge is "limited to the video evidence that is there" about Floyd, a black man. He said he made his opinion known to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, whose office would be in position to file state charges.

"George Floyd deserves justice. His family deserves justice. The black community deserves justice, and our city deserves justice," Frey said.

No charges have been filed in the case.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo declined to discuss Floyd's death on Wednesday but said the actions of the former police officers "in no way reflect the values, and the vision and the culture" he wants to change in the police department.

Officers should be charged with murder, family says

Floyd worked security at Conga Latin Bistro in Minneapolis for five years, according to its owner, Jovanni Thunstrom.

The 46-year-old Houston native moved to Minneapolis for work and to drive trucks, his friend and former NBA player, Stephen Jackson said.

Members of Floyd's family remembered him as a man who wouldn't "hurt anybody." The family wants the four officers charged with murder.

"They were supposed to be there to serve and to protect and I didn't see a single one of them lift a finger to do anything to help while he was begging for his life. Not one of them tried to do anything to help him," Tera Brown, Floyd's cousin, told CNN's Don Lemon on Tuesday.

'I can't breathe'

Floyd was arrested Monday evening after officers responded to a call about an alleged forgery in progress.

The officers were told the suspect was sitting on top of a blue car, Minneapolis police say, and found Floyd inside a car when they arrived.

Police said he "physically resisted" after he got out of the vehicle. Officers handcuffed Floyd, who police said "appeared to be suffering medical distress."

Video from bystanders shows Floyd handcuffed and Chauvin with his knee pressed against the neck of the 46-year-old. Two officers handled the man on the ground while another stood nearby with his eyes on the bystanders as traffic passed.

"Please, I can't breathe," Floyd says. "... My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts."

At one point the Floyd said, "Give me some water or something. Please. Please."

Surveillance video obtained from a nearby restaurant showed the first point of contact police had with the man. An officer escorts Floyd handcuffed out of a car and Floyd sits on the sidewalk. Moments later, the officer and another escort Floyd away, still with his hands behind his back.

Floyd was declared dead at a nearby hospital shortly afterwards. A finding on the cause and manner of Floyd's death is pending and it is being investigated by local, state and federal law enforcement, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said.

In a statement on Tuesday, police said additional information had "been made available" and the Federal Bureau of Investigation had joined the investigation.

The FBI Minneapolis Division has said the federal investigation into Floyd's death will focus on whether the police officers "willfully deprived (Floyd) of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

Officers' attorneys had represented other Minnesota officers in high-profile deaths

The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis said Tuesday the four officers were cooperating in an investigation and urged "now is not the time to rush to (judgment)" while the officers' actions are examined.

At least three of the fired officers are being represented by attorneys who previously represented other police officers involved in high-profile killings in Minnesota.

Chauvin's attorney, Kelly, represented then-St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who shot and killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights in July 2016. A jury found Yanez not guilty of manslaughter; Castile's family and his girlfriend reached settlements with various cities.

Gray, like Kelly, had represented Yanez.

Plunkett was involved in the defense of Minneapolis police Officer Mohamed Noor, who was convicted of third-degree murder and manslaughter for shooting and killing Justine Ruszczyk while responding to her 911 call in July 2017.

Floyd's death 'it's like déjà vu'

Monday's incidentis forcing Gwen Carr to relive the death of her son Eric Garner, who also uttered the words "I can't breathe" while in a New York officer's chokehold.

"It's hard enough we're coming up on the anniversary of my son's death, and now to hear about this young man, it's like déjà vu," Carr told CNN. "It's just like the murder of my son all over again. He was basically the same age as Eric."

The officer who choked Garner in 2014 never faced chargesHe was fired in 2019 after being found guilty in a disciplinary trial of using a chokehold on Garner and later sued the city over his termination.

NBA superstar LeBron James, Cleveland Browns player Odell Beckham Jr. and other athletes have voiced their outrage over Floyd's death.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools are asking parents how to spend extra funds from the possible elimination of the... More >>
3 hours ago Sunday, July 12 2020 Jul 12, 2020 Sunday, July 12, 2020 7:25:00 PM CDT July 12, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Family members returned to the charred remains of their home Sunday afternoon after a fire there the... More >>
3 hours ago Sunday, July 12 2020 Jul 12, 2020 Sunday, July 12, 2020 7:21:00 PM CDT July 12, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The first-degree murder trial for Joseph Elledge has been set for September 1 at 9 a.m., according to... More >>
6 hours ago Sunday, July 12 2020 Jul 12, 2020 Sunday, July 12, 2020 5:03:00 PM CDT July 12, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Police Department arrested 22-year-old Rachel Foster Sunday morning for tampering at the campus' Thomas... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, July 12 2020 Jul 12, 2020 Sunday, July 12, 2020 3:17:00 PM CDT July 12, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, July 12 2020 Jul 12, 2020 Sunday, July 12, 2020 2:58:00 PM CDT July 12, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- Missouri State Parks began hosting an event called, Women in Nature, in 2019 after it said it noticed a... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, July 12 2020 Jul 12, 2020 Sunday, July 12, 2020 2:35:00 PM CDT July 12, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A judge rejected Friday a motion that that would have immediately made it easier for Missourians... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, July 12 2020 Jul 12, 2020 Sunday, July 12, 2020 1:14:00 PM CDT July 12, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City will no longer punish people for marijuana possession, effectively decriminalizing it throughout much of... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, July 12 2020 Jul 12, 2020 Sunday, July 12, 2020 11:43:00 AM CDT July 12, 2020 in News
CREVE COEUR (AP) — Police investigating a weekend burglary in a St. Louis suburb found a dead woman at the... More >>
12 hours ago Sunday, July 12 2020 Jul 12, 2020 Sunday, July 12, 2020 11:04:00 AM CDT July 12, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Sunday refused to say whether schools should follow guidelines from the US Centers... More >>
12 hours ago Sunday, July 12 2020 Jul 12, 2020 Sunday, July 12, 2020 10:24:00 AM CDT July 12, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Eight people are displaced after a structure fire broke out in Jefferson City on Saturday, according to... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, July 12 2020 Jul 12, 2020 Sunday, July 12, 2020 9:51:00 AM CDT July 12, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is slowly coming to accept that the Republican National Convention won't be the four-night... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, July 12 2020 Jul 12, 2020 Sunday, July 12, 2020 9:28:00 AM CDT July 12, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A group of Columbia solid waste customers are pushing for roll carts to replace the current system. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 11 2020 Jul 11, 2020 Saturday, July 11, 2020 7:07:00 PM CDT July 11, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 11 2020 Jul 11, 2020 Saturday, July 11, 2020 10:24:00 AM CDT July 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Medical marijuana could be available in dispensaries this fall, now that two cultivation facilities passed inspection and... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 11 2020 Jul 11, 2020 Saturday, July 11, 2020 10:17:00 AM CDT July 11, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City councilwoman is calling for a plan to remove monuments and rename streets... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 11 2020 Jul 11, 2020 Saturday, July 11, 2020 10:00:34 AM CDT July 11, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS — KSDK News 5 On Your Side has learned St. Louis police officers executed a search warrant... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 11 2020 Jul 11, 2020 Saturday, July 11, 2020 9:49:00 AM CDT July 11, 2020 in News
MARSHALL - An employee of The Living Center at Fitzgibbon Hospital tested positive for COVID-19 after showing no signs of... More >>
2 days ago Friday, July 10 2020 Jul 10, 2020 Friday, July 10, 2020 9:40:00 PM CDT July 10, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
12am 74°
1am 73°
2am 71°
3am 70°