WASHINGTON – The shocking video out of Minneapolis shows another black man, George Floyd, being brutalized by another white police officer as he kneels on the prostrate man’s neck, pressing the full weight of his body on his handcuffed, unarmed victim. Mr. Floyd is seen gasping and crying out for help, shouting “I cannot breathe,” and “Don’t kill me!” He then grows motionless, closes his eyes, and appears to stop breathing. But still the officer keeps his knee pressed into Mr. Floyd’s neck.
Meanwhile, other Minneapolis police officers stand by and do nothing to prevent this obscene instance of police violence. But we can bear witness, and bear witness we must.
Minnesota NOW joined a protest on Tuesday expressing the community’s outrage at this incident, which took place on Monday, Memorial Day. NOW members across the country stand with Minnesotans who demand answers to the continued pattern of police violence, following the shooting death of Philando Castile in 2016. The officer in that incident was acquitted of a second-degree manslaughter charge and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm.
We demand justice for George Floyd, his family, and his community. We demand that the names of the officers involved in this attack be released, and for those officers to be vigorously prosecuted, firing them is not enough. Police violence against unarmed black men must not be allowed to continue as “business as usual.” That is not who we are.