Video has emerged showing a white Minneapolis police officer pinning a black man to the ground with his knees, moments before the suspect loses consciousness and dies.
The disturbing footage was taken by a bystander in south Minneapolis on Monday evening and has now sparked an FBI investigation into the man’s death.
The Minneapolis Police Department confirmed the man died in a statement later that night, after the arresting officers responded to a ‘forgery in progress.’
Police found the man, believed to be in his 40s, matching the suspect’s description in his car.
‘He was ordered to step from his car. After he got out, he physically resisted officers,’ police spokesman John Elder said in a statement.
‘Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.’
The man, who was not identified, was taken by ambulance to Hennepin County Medical Center where he died a short time later, police said.
Disturbing footage captured by a bystander shows the moment a white Minneapolis police officer pins a black man to the ground with his knees during an arrest on Monday
The man, who was being arrested for forgery, is repeatedly heard telling officers he can’t breathe. About four minutes into the video, he appears to lose consciousness
Footage of the incident was shared on Facebook by bystander Darnella Frazier, and has drawn comparisons to the case of Eric Garner, a black man who was a killed in 2014 after New York City police officers put him in a lethal chokehold.
Garner, who had been arrested for selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island, was repeatedly heard saying ‘I can’t breathe’ while being held down by cops.
On Monday, the arresting police officer was seen pinning the man to the ground for more than six minutes as he pleaded with officers to release him.
The 2014 death of Eric Garner
Eric Garner, 43, died on July 17, 2014, after NYPD officers placed him in a fatal chokehold during his arrest.
Video footage of the incident and Garner’s subsequent death sparked national outcry over police brutality towards the black community.
Eric Garner, was killed in 2014, after NYPD officers placed him in a lethal chokehold during his arrest
Police had suspected Garner of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes on the street in Staten Island.
The confrontation was caught on amateur video, including Garner’s words ‘I can’t breathe,’ which become a rallying cry among protesters.
The city medical examiner’s office later ruled Garner’s death a homicide caused by neck compressions from a chokehold.
In 2019, the New York Police Department began disciplinary proceedings against White police officer Daniel Pantaleo, but the trial did not result in any charges.
Pantaleo was fired from the NYPD in August 2019.
‘Please. Please, I can’t breathe,’ the man, who is shirtless, is heard begging cops.
‘My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts.’
The officer continues to kneel on the man’s neck for several minutes while he moans in pain.
Multiple witnesses are then heard arguing with the two arresting officers over their excessive use of force.
‘Bro, you’ve got him down at least let him breathe, man,’ a male onlooker says.
‘He’s not even resisting arrest … he’s human, bro.’
One of the officers then replies: ‘This is why you don’t do drugs, kids.’
‘This ain’t about drugs, bro! He’s human,’ the bystander says.
‘You’re enjoying it. Look at you. Your body language, you bum. You know that’s bogus right now,’ he adds.
About four minutes into the video, the man appears to begin to lose consciousness before becoming unresponsive.
An ambulance then arrives and police officers move the man’s limp body onto a stretcher.
‘You just really killed that man, bro,’ the male onlooker says.
‘And if he’s not dead, he’s close to death, that’s crazy,’ Frazier adds.
The video, which has been shared more than 15,000 times on Facebook, has sparked outrage among viewers on social media.
‘They killed him right in front of Cup Foods over south on 38th and Chicago!! No type of sympathy. #PoliceBrutality,’ Frazier wrote in a Facebook post.
On Tuesday, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension confirmed the FBI has joined in its investigation.
The man, unresponsive and handcuffed, is then placed on a stretcher before being transported to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he died shortly after
All body camera footage has been turned over to the BCA, which investigates most police shootings and in-custody deaths.
The officers involved have been put on paid administrative leave, per department protocol.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey addressed the incident in a press conference on Tuesday morning, calling events in the video ‘wrong at every level.’
‘Being black in America should not be a death sentence,’ he said.
‘For five minutes we watched as a white officer pressed his knee to the neck of a black man. For five minutes.
‘When you hear someone calling for help, you are supposed to help.
‘This officer failed in the most basic human sense. What happened on Chicago and 38th, this last night, is simply awful.’
Frey also apologized to the family of the man, who is yet to be identified, as well as the black community.
‘He was a human being and his life mattered,’ he said.
Throughout the video, the arresting officer is seen kneeling on the man’s neck as he lay motionless on the ground
The FBI is now investigating the man’s death and the two officers have been placed on paid administrative leave
Nekima Levy-Armstrong, a prominent local activist, said the incident reminded her of the Eric Garner case. Garner (pictured) was an unarmed New York man who died in 2014 after he was placed in a chokehold by police and pleaded for his life saying he couldn’t breathe
Minnesota state Senator Amy Klobuchar released a statement following the mayor’s media briefing, calling for the police officers involved to be held accountable.
‘We heard his repeated calls for help. We heard him say over and over again that he could not breathe. And now we have a seen yet another horrifying and gutwrenching instance of an African American man dying,’ she said.
‘Every single person in every single community in this country deserves to feel safe. As the Mayor Minneapolis noted, this tragic loss of life calls for immediate action.
‘There must be a complete and thorough outside investigation into what occurred, and those involved in this incident must be held accountable.
‘Justice must be served for this man and his family, justice must be served for our community, and justice must be served for our country.’
Nekima Levy-Armstrong, a prominent local activist, said watching the footage that was shared on social media made her ‘sick to her stomach’ and called the incident another example of police brutality toward African American men, the Star Tribune reported.
‘Whatever the man may have done should not have ended in a death sentence,’ she said.
‘What started as an alleged economic incident once again turned deadly for a black man.’
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey addressed the incident in a press briefing on Tuesday morning, calling the events in the video ‘wrong at every level’ and saying the officers involved ‘failed in the most basic human sense’
The video has sparked outrage among viewers on social media and has been shared more than 7,000 times
Levy-Armstrong said the incident reminded her of the Eric Garner case.
He was an unarmed New York man who died in 2014 after he was placed in a chokehold by police and pleaded for his life saying he couldn’t breathe.
A grand jury later decided against indicting the officers involved, sparking protests around the country.
Police in Minneapolis have come under the microscope in recent years for deadly run-ins with citizens.
A 24-year-old black man, Jamar Clark, was shot in the head and died in 2015 after a confrontation with two white officers responding to a reported assault.
A county prosecutor declined to prosecute the officers, saying Clark was struggling for one of the officers´ gun when he was shot.
A white woman, Justine Rusczcyk Damond, died in 2017 when she was shot in the stomach by a Minneapolis officer responding to her 911 call.
That officer, who is black, was convicted of manslaughter and murder and is serving a 12-year prison sentence.