A black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis was seen on a bystander’s video pleading that he could not breathe as a white officer knelt on his neck during the arrest and kept his knee there for several minutes after the man stopped moving.
The death Monday night after a struggle with officers was under investigation by the FBI and state law enforcement authorities.
The man who died was identified as George Floyd by Ben Crump, a prominent civil rights and personal injury attorney who said he had been hired by Floyd’s family.
Floyd is from Houston and went to Jack Yates High School, where he played football, according to friends and former classmates.
We all watched the horrific death of George Floyd on video as witnesses begged the police officer to take him into the police car and get off his neck,” Crump said in a statement. “This abusive, excessive and inhumane use of force cost the life of a man who was being detained by the police for questioning about a non-violent charge.”
Police said Floyd matched the description of a suspect in a forgery case and resisted arrest. The unidentified officer ignored his pleas. “Please, please, please, I can’t breathe. Please, man,” Floyd was heard telling the officer.
After several minutes, one of the officers tells him to “relax.” Minutes pass, and Floyd becomes motionless under the officer’s restraint. The officer leaves his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes more.
Floyd worked as a security guard at Conga Latin Bistro in Minneapolis. Jovanni Thunstrom, who is both Floyd’s employer and landlord, told ABC News that Floyd has a daughter in Houston who he was planning to bring to Minneapolis to live with him.