George Floyd​’s family calls for Minneapolis police officers to be charged: “This was clearly murder”

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Protesters gather near the Minnesota Police 3rd Precinct during a gathering Tuesday, May 26, 2020, in response to the death the day before of George Floyd in police custody. Four Minneapolis officers involved in the arrest of Floyd, a black man who died in police custody, were fired Tuesday, hours after a bystander’s video showed an officer kneeling on the handcuffed man’s neck, even after he pleaded that he could not breathe and stopped moving. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP)

(CBS) — Hundreds of protesters clashed with police in downtown Minneapolis Tuesday night, following the death of George Floyd, a black man who appeared to be suffocated during an attempted arrest. What began peacefully soon turned confrontational, with police in riot gear firing tear gas, and some protesters throwing rocks.

The protests come after a 10-minute video surfaced of police trying to detain Floyd Monday as they responded to a report of suspected forgery. A white police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than seven minutes, as the 46-year-old, with his hands cuffed behind his back, pleaded for help and repeatedly said “I can’t breathe” before his body went still.

All four responding officers have now been fired from the force. But, Floyd’s family says they want the officers charged.

His brothers Rodney and Philonise Floyd and cousin Tera Brown, who are in Houston, said they don’t believe that he was resisting the officers.

“You have eyes, I have eyes. You don’t need to believe what they say. You can see what you saw and I saw, and the whole nation saw, the country saw, and every person, black person in America saw the same thing because it don’t happen to nobody else,” Rodney Floyd told CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues.

Police claimed George Floyd was a suspect in a forgery case at a deli and that he had physically resisted officers. But new surveillance video obtained by CBS News from a store nearby shows officers calmly detaining him.

“He was handcuffed long before they took him to that car, and you can see his demeanor from the security video. They did not have to use this excessive lethal force that killed George Floyd. They did not have to do it,” said attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing his family. “And that’s why simply terminating them is not enough because black lives matter.”

Brown agreed that firing the officers was not enough. 

“We need to see justice happen. In this case, this was clearly murder. We want to see them arrested. We want to see them charged. We want to see them convicted for what they did. He did not deserve what happened to him,” she said. “I don’t want the protests to just be for show. I want to see action. I want to see these people pay for what they did. We need to hold them accountable.” 

Philonise Floyd wiped away tears while speaking with Pegues.

“Just thinking just how amazing my brother was. He never did anything to nobody. Everybody loved my brother. I just don’t understand why people want to hurt people, kill people. They didn’t have to do that to my brother,” he said. “Hearing him holler over and over, he can’t breathe, he can’t breathe. Nobody don’t want to hear that.”

According to the Minneapolis police training manual, neck restraints are only allowed when a suspect is actively resisting officers and it is only allowed as a non-deadly hold if it does not block the suspect’s airway.

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