The FBI has been called to investigate the in-custody death of a Black man in Minneapolis on Monday night.
In a statement early Tuesday morning, police said the man, who was believed to be in his 40s, died after a “medical incident” in a “police interaction.” However, bystander video footage showed a police officer kneeling on the man’s neck in the incident, as he repeatedly pleaded, “I can’t breathe.”
The incident occurred on Monday around 8 pm after officers confronted the man in his car.
Police said they responded to a call about a man trying to use forged documents at Cup Foods, CBS reports. Upon arrival, they found the man “sitting on top of a blue car and appeared to be under the influence.”
After the man physically resisted orders to step away from the vehicle, “officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress,” police said in a statement.
At one point in the 10-minute video, the handcuffed man groans, as witnesses can be heard instructing the officer, who is white, to “Get off his neck.” “He’s not even resisting arrest right now, bro,” a bystander explained. “You’re fucking stopping his breathing right now; you think that’s cool?”
The man was then taken to a local hospital, where he died shortly after.
At a press conference, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey addressed the viral video, saying: “I believe what I saw, and what I saw was wrong at every level….Being black in America should not be a death sentence,” he added.
Thread: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey calls the incident with a 40-something year old black man who died while under arrest “wrong on every level.” A FB video shows an MPD officer pinning the man down as he says he can’t breathe. “This does not reflect the values of MPD.” #wcco pic.twitter.com/f9T6mvMkPI
— Christiane Cordero (@ChristianeWCCO) May 26, 2020
Police said the officers’ bodycam footage had been turned over to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the two officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave with no enforcement duties.
The FBI is now leading the investigation.
*Warning Graphic Footage*