A new angle of the death of George Floyd while in police custody shows that while Officer Derek Chauvin fatally pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for seven minutes, two other officers were on Floyd’s back restraining him.
Chauvin’s restraint tactic has already been widely condemned as excessive and unnecessary, and it becomes even more egregious when it becomes clear that Floyd would’ve been fully restrained even if Chauvin got off of him completely.
The video also shows a fourth officer standing by watching as Floyd, who was handcuffed and being arrested for a nonviolent crime, begged them to get up because he could not breath. The police were reportedly called over Floyd’s alleged use of a counterfeit $20 bill at a deli.
A separate photo also shows multiple officers restraining Floyd. (Content warning: Language):
Other videos of the incident show officers pulling Floyd out of his car. Two officers handcuff him, without much apparent resistance. One officer then walks a cooperative Floyd to the sidewalk, where he sits down for a little while before the two officers walk him off camera.
It’s unclear specifically how the situation escalated to where the officers felt that it would take three of them to restrain a handcuffed man, who was laying on his stomach, and why Officer Chauvin was compelled to suffocate the man until he passed out, and then still keep his knee on Floyd’s neck.
There is reportedly body camera footage of the incident that has not yet been made public. The four officers have been fired, and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has called for Chauvin’s arrest.
“Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail? If you had done it, or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now. We cannot turn a blind eye,” Frey said. “George Floyd deserves justice.”