George Floyd’s Funeral To Hold On June 9

A man raise his fist and holds a placard during a protest for the death of George Floyd, in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington on June 1, 2020. Jason Redmond / AFP

 

 

A funeral for George Floyd, the black man who died in US police custody after a Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck, will be held June 9 in Houston, the family’s lawyer said Monday.

“In Minneapolis, there will be a memorial here Thursday, at 1:00 to 3:00,” said attorney Ben Crump, speaking at a press conference in Minneapolis to report the findings of an independent autopsy.

“On Saturday, there will be a memorial service in North Carolina, where he was born, at 1:00 to 3:00. And then on Tuesday, June the ninth, the funeral will take place in Houston, Texas at 11:00 am,” said Crump, who is representing the Floyd family.

George Floyd died on May 27 after a policeman knelt on the 46-year-old man’s neck for almost nine minutes. Floyd became unresponsive after almost three minutes.

His death, captured on mobile phone footage, reignited long-felt anger over police killings of African-Americans and echoed high-profile cases that spurred the Black Lives Matter movement such as the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the July 2014 choking of Eric Garner in New York.

Nationwide uproar sparked over police brutality, and protests and rioting — many that turned violent — erupted in more than 140 cities over the weekend.

Crump announced the results of an autopsy arranged by Floyd’s family that shows he was suffocated by a Minneapolis police officer rather than dying from pre-existing heart problems as claimed by the official ruling.

AFP

Private Autopsy Shows George Floyd Suffocated To Death, Says Lawyer

These images taken on May 25, 2020, from a video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during the arrest of George Floyd. Darnella Frazier / Facebook/Darnella Frazier / AFP
These images taken on May 25, 2020, from a video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during the arrest of George Floyd. Darnella Frazier / Facebook/Darnella Frazier / AFP

 

An autopsy arranged by the family of George Floyd shows he was suffocated by a US policeman, rather than dying from pre-existing heart problems as claimed by the official ruling, their lawyer announced Monday.

“Independent medical examiners who conducted an autopsy of Floyd Sunday determined that asphyxiation from sustained pressure was the cause of death,” Ben Crump said.

Aleccia Wilson, Director at Autopsy and Forensic Sciences at the University of Michigan, said she had examined Floyd’s body.

“The evidence is consistent with mechanical asphyxia as the cause of death, and homicide as the manner of death,” she told a news conference.

Floyd died on May 27 after a policeman knelt on the 46-year-old African American’s neck for almost nine minutes. Floyd became unresponsive after almost three minutes.

A bystander video of the incident, which came after Floyd was detained on a minor charge of passing a counterfeit $20 bill, sparked a nationwide uproar over police brutality and protests and rioting in more than 140 cities.

The policeman who held his knee to Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, was arrested on Friday and charged with third degree, or unintentional murder, based on an initial official autopsy that said Floyd died not of asphyxia but of “underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease.”

Floyd’s family took issue with that conclusion and have demanded Chauvin be charged with first degree murder, and that three other officers at the scene be arrested and charged as complicit with murder.

Wilson and another autopsy expert, Dr Michael Baden, said they disagreed with the official report, only the summary of which has been released as part of the court document for Chauvin’s arrest.

“The autopsy shows that Mr Floyd had no underlying medical problem that caused or  contributed to his death.”

“He was in good health,” Baden said.

“I wish I had the same coronary arteries that Mr Floyd had that we saw at the autopsy,” he added.

Protests In Amsterdam, Dublin Over Killing Of George Floyd

Protesters demonstrate on June 1, 2020 in Amsterdam, to protest against the police killing of unarmed black man George Floyd in the USA. Sem VAN DER WAL / AFP / ANP
Protesters demonstrate on June 1, 2020 in Amsterdam, to protest against the police killing of unarmed black man George Floyd in the USA. Sem VAN DER WAL / AFP / ANP

 

Thousands of protesters rallied in the Dutch and Irish capitals on Monday against the death of a black man during an arrest by police in the United States.

Defying coronavirus restrictions, demonstrators in both Amsterdam and Dublin carried signs saying “Black Lives Matter”, referring to the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

The protests that have roiled US cities for six nights have now spread around the world, with rallies as far afield as London and New Zealand.

Around 3,000 protesters packed Dam Square in the centre of Amsterdam, standing close together despite coronavirus social distancing measures, local media said.

The protest was partly organised by a group that aims to stop the Dutch Christmas tradition of “Black Pete” — one of Santa’s helpers who is dressed in blackface.

In Dublin, protestors marched on the US embassy on Monday afternoon, chanting Floyd’s name and taking a knee at the gates of the compound in a moment of silence.

Police on the scene told AFP they estimated between 2,000 and 3,000 took part in the peaceful demonstration, surprising officers who had expected a modest turnout.

Racially diverse protestors carried placards reading “Black lives matter” and “Police murder”. One wore a face mask marked with the words “I can’t breathe”.

“Who do you turn to when you can’t turn to the people that are meant to protect you?” said protestor Fionnuala O’Connell, reacting to the circumstances of Floyd’s death in police custody.

“That’s the scariest part, because what do you do?”

“I feel like a lot of us have been silenced and we were afraid to speak out,” demonstrator Raphael Olympio told AFP.

“Today we just want to speak out and raise our voices.”

US Policeman Who Kneeled On George Floyd’s Neck Charged With Third-Degree Murder

These images taken on May 25, 2020, from a video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during the arrest of George Floyd. Darnella Frazier / Facebook/Darnella Frazier / AFP
These images taken on May 25, 2020, from a video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during the arrest of George Floyd. Darnella Frazier / Facebook/Darnella Frazier / AFP

 

A Minneapolis policeman accused of killing unarmed African-American George Floyd by kneeling on his neck was taken into custody Friday and charged with third-degree murder, officials said.

Derek Chauvin is one of four officers who were fired shortly after an explosive video emerged showing a handcuffed Floyd lying on the street as an officer identified as Chauvin pinned his knee to Floyd’s neck for at least five minutes on Monday.

The death of the 46-year-old Floyd has sparked days of sometimes violent demonstrations in Minneapolis and other US cities over police brutality against African-Americans.

So far, hundreds of shops have been damaged and a police station set on fire.

“Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is in custody,” Hennepin county prosecutor Mike Freeman told reporters.

“Chauvin has been charged… with murder and with manslaughter,” he added, specifying to reporters that the charge was third-degree murder.

US Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota applauded Chauvin’s arrest, calling it “the first step towards justice.”

Racism cannot be ‘normal’

In the graphic video footage, Floyd is seen saying that he can not breathe. Eventually he went silent and limp, and he was later declared dead.

Protests swelled after federal authorities said Thursday that they were making the case a top priority but announced no arrests at that time.

Overnight, demonstrators broke through law enforcement barriers to overtake the Minneapolis police station where the four officers blamed for Floyd’s death were based.

A fire broke out and soon became an inferno that engulfed the structure.

Minnesota’s national guard announced that 500 troops were being deployed Friday for peacekeeping amid signs that the anger was nowhere near dissipating.

President Donald Trump blasted local officials and labelled the protesters “thugs,” threatening a harsh crackdown.

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump tweeted.

“Just spoke to (Minnesota) Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Twitter concealed that tweet, saying it violated its policy on glorifying violence.

Former president Barack Obama said Friday he shared the “anguish” of millions of Americans over Floyd’s death and that racism cannot be “normal” in the United States.

“It can’t be ‘normal,'” Obama, the first black US president, said in a statement.

“If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must do better.”

CNN Crew Arrested In US During Protest Coverage

A photo showing the CNN logo.
A photo showing the CNN logo.

 

Police arrested a CNN crew broadcasting live from the US city of Minneapolis early on Friday while covering unrest sparked by the death of a black man at the hands of law enforcement.

The crew was later released.

The network posted footage of correspondent Omar Jimenez speaking calmly to police with batons and riot helmets, then being handcuffed and taken away.

“Do you mind telling me why I am under arrest, sir,” Jimenez is heard saying. “Why am I under arrest, sir?”

No answer was audible.

CNN said a producer and a camera operator working with Jimenez were also arrested.

Earlier, as Minnesota state police surrounded Jimenez while he reported, the correspondent spoke to the officers and said he wanted to cooperate.

“Wherever you want us, we would go,” said Jimenez, who is black. CNN said in a tweet that a white reporter who was also on the ground covering the unrest was not arrested.

Jimenez was back on the air later Friday after police released him. CNN said Minnesota Governor Tim Walz apologized to the network.

Earlier, CNN put out a statement condemning the police behavior.

“A CNN reporter & his production team were arrested this morning in Minneapolis for doing their jobs, despite identifying themselves – a clear violation of their First Amendment rights,” the network said.

Jimenez was in the city covering the third straight night of unrest triggered by the death of George Floyd after he was arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit banknote.

A video taken by a bystander shows an officer kneeling on his neck as he is pinned to the ground. At one point Floyd is heard saying he cannot breathe, and eventually, his body goes limp.

George Floyd: Protesters Burn Down Police Station In Minneapolis

Flames rise from the cleaners shoop near the Third Police Precinct on May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Kerem Yucel / AFP
Flames rise from the cleaners shoop near the Third Police Precinct on May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Kerem Yucel / AFP

 

Hundreds of troops deployed to the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul early Friday after a third night of rioting over police brutality against African Americans left hundreds of shops damaged and a police station on fire.

After the angry demonstrations spread overnight to multiple US cities, from New York to Phoenix, President Donald Trump blasted local officials and labelled the protestors “thugs” and threatened a harsh crackdown.

Black leaders continued to express outrage over the videotaped death of George Floyd, 46, while handcuffed on the ground and in custody of Minneapolis police on Monday. He died after one officer kneeled on his neck for more than five minutes.

“People are angry they are frustrated because this is not the first police killing they have seen around the country,” Al Sharpton, a prominent black rights activist, told MSNBC.

Trump indicated he would counter more street violence with more troops on the streets.

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump tweeted.

“Just spoke to (Minnesota) Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Twitter concealed that tweet, saying it violated its policy on glorifying violence.

Police station set ablaze

Overnight demonstrators broke through law enforcement barriers to overtake the Minneapolis police station where the four officers blamed for Floyd’s death were based.

A man walks past a liquor store in flames near the Third Police Precinct on May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Kerem Yucel / AFP
A man walks past a liquor store in flames near the Third Police Precinct on May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Kerem Yucel / AFP

 

A fire broke out and soon became an inferno that engulfed the structure.

The state’s national guard announced the 500 troops were being deployed Friday morning for peacekeeping amid signs that the anger was nowhere near dissipating.

“Our troops are trained to protect life, preserve property and ensure people’s right to peacefully demonstrate,” said Major General Jon Jensen of the Minnesota National Guard.

‘Please choose peace’

Protests broke out in several cities across the country, including New York, where dozens of protestors were arrested; Phoenix, Memphis, and Denver.

In Louisville, Kentucky, seven people were hit by gunfire at a protest on Thursday over the death of Breonna Taylor — a black woman who was shot after police entered her home in March.

One of those wounded was in critical condition, according to the Louisville Metro Police Department. It is not yet clear who fired the shots.

Police urged protestors to “please choose peace,” posting a video message from a member of Taylor’s family asking those in the streets to “go home and be safe and be ready to keep fighting.”

But more protests were expected Friday, including in Washington and Houston, where Floyd’s family is.

Video evidence

Pressure mounted on Minnesota officials to arrest the four officers blamed for Floyd’s death.

A video shows that after being detained on a minor, non-violent charge of using a counterfeit banknote, he was handcuffed, pinned to the ground and one officer held his knee tightly to Floyd’s neck for more than five minutes until he went limp.

Floyd’s family demanded the officer be arrested for murder, but local and federal law enforcement officials said Thursday they still needed to investigate the case thoroughly.

“The Department of Justice has made the investigation in this case a top priority,” said Erica MacDonald, the US federal attorney for Minnesota.

“To be clear, President (Donald) Trump, as well as Attorney General William Barr, are directly and actively monitoring the investigation in this case.”

But Sharpton said Friday that video of Floyd’s death was strong enough to support arresting the officers, who have been fired from the Minneapolis police.

“The tape is more than enough to establish probable cause .. to make an arrest. There is no reason these four policeman have not been arrested by now.”