by Holly Matkin and Christopher Berg
Minneapolis, MN – The Minneapolis Police Department 3rd precinct has been surrounded by protesters who have started smashing the windows with bricks.
Numerous police vehicles in the parking lot have had windows smashed out and contents vandalized, according to video from Unicorn Riot.
Officers are inside of the surrounded building and a other officers in crowd control gear have started to respond to the parking lot and are deploying gas.
People in the crowd have started throwing gas canisters back at the police.
The protests come after four officers were fired in connection with the the in-custody death of George Floyd.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey encouraged people to attend the protest.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has launched a civil rights investigation into the incident which left Floyd dead. The incident occurred in the 3700-block of Chicago Avenue South shortly after 8 p.m. on Monday, the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) said in a press release.
Officers responded to the location after receiving a report of a “forgery in progress,” and were told that the suspect “appeared to be under the influence” and was sitting on top of a blue car, according to the press release.
When the two MPD officers arrived, they spotted the male suspect, later identified as George Floyd, sitting inside his car.
Floyd, who was a black male believed to be in his 40s, was ordered to step out of his vehicle, police said.
But when he got out his car, the suspect went on the fight and “physically resisted officers,” according to the MPD.
After wrestling the combative man to the ground, one officer knelt on the suspect’s neck to keep him pinned down, cell phone footage showed.
According to the MPD, police noticed that the man “appeared to be suffering from medical distress” after they placed him in handcuffs, so they summoned an ambulance to the scene.
The suspect was already subdued on the ground when a bystander began recording the scene.
“I cannot breathe!” the suspect said, as a crowd of onlookers began heckling the officers.
“You’re a tough guy,” one bystander told a second officer at the scene. “He’s not even resisting arrest!”
The officer told the crowd that the suspect had fought with them.
“That’s why you don’t do drugs, kids,” the officer added, referring to the growling suspect.
The bystanders alleged that the officers were not treating the suspect like he was a “human,” and told them they should just put him in a patrol car.
“We tried that for 10 minutes!” the exasperated officer responded. “He’s talking – he’s fine.”
The bystanders later began yelling at the officers, telling them that Floyd was no longer moving.
One man accused the officer of being “scared of minorities,” while others yelled at police to “get the f–k off of him,” the video showed.
They also accused police of “killing” the Floyd right in front of them.
“He’s black – they don’t care!” another bystander yelled. “You just killed that n—-r, bro!”
People in the crowd also told the officers that they would end up shooting themselves because of the dreams they would have about killing Floyd, the video showed.
Floyd was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he later died, the MPD said.
His exact cause of death has not been released, and it is unclear whether any medical issues or substance use may have been contributing factors.
The MPD initially contacted the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to handle the investigation into the incident.
On Tuesday, the FBI also joined the case after “additional information” was made available, the MPD said.
The department did not specify what “additional information” had been received.
During a press conference earlier on Tuesday, MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo said that the officers involved in the incident were still being paid, but that they had been “relieved of duty status,” CBS News reported.
Frey announced their terminations hours later.
During the earlier press conference, the mayor said that Floyd’s death was “simply awful” and “wrong at every level,” according to the news outlet.
“For the better part of the night I’ve been trying to find the words to describe what happened and all I keep coming back to is that he should not have died,” Frey declared. “What we saw was horrible, completely and utterly messed up…This man’s life matters, he matters. He was someone’s son, someone’s family member, someone’s friend. He was a human being and his life mattered.”
The mayor noted that “being black in America should not be a death sentence,” WCCO reported.
“This officer failed in the most basic, human sense,” Frey continued, before issuing a public apology to the suspect’s family. “It serves as a reminder of how far we have to go.”
Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis Lieutenant Bob Kroll said that the union will continue to support both of the involved officers as the investigation continues.
“Now is not the time rush to judgement and immediately condemn our officers,” Lt. Kroll told WCCO. “An in-depth investigation is underway. Our officers are fully cooperating. We must review all video. We must wait for the medical examiner’s report.”
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump was the first person to publicly identify Floyd, according to NBC News.
Crump said he is now representing Floyd’s family.
“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. “This abusive, excessive and inhumane use of force cost the life of a man who was being detained by police for questioning about a non-violent charge.”
Crump said that he will “seek justice” for Floyd’s family as he demands answers from the MPD, NBC News reported.
“How many ‘while black’ deaths will it take until the racial profiling and undervaluing of black lives by police finally ends?” the civil rights attorney asked.