‘Please, I can’t breathe’: US police officer filmed with knee on neck of motionless man who later died

Two officers involved in incident have been put on paid administrative leave

James Crump
Tuesday 26 May 2020 16:12 BST
The officer with his knee on the man's neck
The officer with his knee on the man's neck ((Darnella Frazier - Facebook))

A man has died after a Minneapolis police officer detained him by putting his knee on his neck, in an arrest captured on camera by a member of the public.

The clip, filmed on Monday, showed a black man lying on the ground, motionless, and a white police officer, resting his knee on top of the man’s neck.

In the video, the man groaned and asked police to get off him, while members of the public attempted to convince the officer that he was hurting him.

Despite the pleas, the officer did not move his knee from the man’s neck, who pleaded with the official: “My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts...(I need) water or something. Please. Please. I can’t breathe, officer. I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe.”

One of the onlookers, urged the officers to check the man’s pulse after she noticed he was motionless on the ground.

They killed him right in front of cup foods over south on 38th and Chicago!! No type of sympathy 💔💔#POLICEBRUTALITY

Posted by Darnella Frazier on Monday, 25 May 2020

A second officer who was filmed during the incident, did not do anything to intervene while his colleague was on top of the man.

After a few minutes, an ambulance arrived and took the man away, but he died later that day, according to the authorities.

A statement released by the Minneapolis Police Department on Monday, said that the man was under the influence and resisted arrest.

“Officers were advised that the suspect was sitting on top of a blue car and appeared to be under the influence,” the statement read.

“Two officers arrived and located the suspect, a male believed to be in his 40s, in his car. He was ordered to step from his car.”

The department added that the officers at the scene called for an ambulance after it became clear the man was in distress.

“After he got out, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers called for an ambulance,” the statement read.

The department claimed that “at no time were weapons of any type used by anyone involved in this incident,” and added that “body worn cameras were on and activated during this incident.”

Officials from the FBI will be part of the team that investigates the incident as a possible civil rights violation.

Two officers involved in the incident have been put on paid administrative leave, pending the investigation.

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