UPDATE 3:15 PM EST:
The four Minneapolis police officers involved in the deadly altercation between George Floyd, a man who pleaded with officers to breathe during a Monday arrest, were terminated on Tuesday.
The information was shared by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.
“Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated,” the tweet read.
The announcement comes after a video of Floyd’s last moments showed an officer placing his knee on his neck prior to him losing consciousness.
“I Can’t Breathe”: FBI To Investigate Death Of Minneapolis Man Who Pleaded With Officers During Arrest
A new widely circulated video on social media showed a deadly, disturbing police encounter where a Black man lost his life after being constricted from breathing on Monday.
The event hinders back to the heartbreaking death of Eric Garner, who died under a police choke hold in 2014.
In the nine-minute video the unidentified man, who is believed to be in his 40’s, can be seen on the ground while a Minneapolis officer kneels down placing his knee on the man’s neck outside of a grocery store called Cup Foods.
However, a tweet from Benjamin Crump, who has reportedly been detained as the family’s lawyer, claims the man’s name was named George Floyd.
“Please man, I can’t breathe,” you can hear him say in the video.
“My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Please, please. I can’t breathe,” he repeats.
In the background, people can be heard urging the cops to release the man. “He’s not even resisting arrest right now, bro,” one bystander tells the officer and his partner. “You’re f—–g stopping his breathing right now, you think that’s cool?”
Five minutes into the video, the man appears to go unconscious.
According to a press release from the MPD, officers responded to the scene due to a “forgery in progress,” at the Cup Foods around 8 p.m. on Monday. MPD authorities claim a physical altercation occurred after they approached, saying the man was under the influence. The encounter was also captured through body cameras, which have been submitted for investigation purposes.
“Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress,” the statement said. MPD authorities called for medical assistance, but the man died after arriving at the hospital according the release.
However during a Tuesday press conference Mayor Jacob Frey shared strong sentiment that he believes the situation was unlawful and that the man did not have to die.
“What we saw was horrible, completely and utterly messed up. … Whatever the investigation reveals, it does not change the simple truth that he should be with us this morning,” he said.
“Being Black in America should not be a death sentence,” Frey continued. “When you hear someone calling for help, you are supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic human sense.”
The incident is being investigated by federal authorities, including the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, according to WCCO. The two officers in the video have been “relieved of duty status,” according to Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. The officers, however, are still on payroll but without law enforcement duties.
Local activists and supporters have planned a demonstration on Tuesday night at the intersection where the event occurred.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more details emerge.