Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis late on Monday (May 25) following an altercation with police officers. Floyd, who was African American, was killed when a white police officer appeared to kneel on his neck as he lay on the ground during an arrest.
Officers reportedly responded to a call from a grocery store who claimed Floyd had used a forged check. The police later alleged Floyd “physically resisted officers” while he “appeared to be under the influence”.
However, footage of the incident showed Floyd on the floor shouting “I cannot breathe” and “don’t kill me” to an officer who was kneeling on his neck. Witnesses in the background could be heard shouting “Bro, he’s not even fucking moving” while another asked the officer in question: “You’re going to just sit there with your knee on his neck?”
Since the incident, the four officers involved have lost their jobs but, at present, none are facing criminal charges. Now, musicians across the US including Monáe, Ice Cube and Sia are joining calls for the police officers to face criminal charges.
In a tweet, Monáe wrote: “I’m tired of talking. We need action NOW. Fucking furious #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.”
You can see her tweet and those from other artists calling for justice below:
I’m tired of talking . We need action NOW . Fucking furious . #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd
— Janelle Monáe, Cindi Mayweather (@JanelleMonae) May 27, 2020
— sia (@Sia) May 27, 2020
How long will we go for Blue on Black Crime before we strike back??? https://t.co/sXDq7SXl6W
— Ice Cube (@icecube) May 26, 2020
This. Is. DISGUSTING.
This cop is obviously being brutal to an unarmed man who can't breath & is unresponsive.
— Joy Villa (@Joy_Villa) May 26, 2020
— Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter) May 26, 2020
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) May 26, 2020
— COMMON (@common) May 26, 2020
— Sleaford Mods (@sleafordmods) May 27, 2020
I just signed a petition to demand that the 4 police officers involved in murdered George Floyd be arrested and charged immediately. You should too: https://t.co/vuYvD7mrKt
— Garbage (@garbage) May 27, 2020
This just burns. Seems to be a never ending cycle. The murderers need to be charged severely. Even in the face of death this man was given zero empathy. #RIPGeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/gyuaoC6vUh
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) May 27, 2020
In a press conference held yesterday (May 26), the Minneapolis police department said Floyd later “died a short time” after a “medical incident.” They added: “[The officers] were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and realised that the suspect was suffering a medical distress [before] calling an ambulance.”
The mayor of Minnesota apologised to Floyd’s family yesterday morning, saying “[Floyd] should not have died” and that the incident was “wrong on every level.” He continued: “For five minutes we watched as a white officer pressed his knee to the neck of a black man,” Frey said. “For five minutes. This officer failed in the most basic human sense.”
Benjamin Crump, the attorney speaking on behalf of Floyd’s family, released a statement saying that they are seeking justice and want answers following the incident. “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,” Crump said.
He continued: “How many ‘white black’ deaths will it take until the racial profiling and undervaluing of black lives by police finally ends?”
The F.B.I are now investigating the incident.
Last night, protesters clashed with police in Minneapolis as hundreds took to the streets following news of Floyd’s death.