Minneapolis protests, riots and looting in reaction to the death of a 48-year-old security guard George Floyd, who was declared dead Monday night while being arrested by police officers, continued Wednesday night.
A witness’ cell phone video showed Floyd handcuffed on the ground while a police office pressed his knee against what appeared to be the black man’s neck for approximately eight minutes. According to a police academy instructor, Sgt. Daniel Everstan, it appears the knee of Police Officer Derek Chauvin is putting extreme pressure on George Floyd’s carotid artery for up to eight minutes.
Officer Chauvin and the three other cops were fired Tuesday. On Wednesday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, a Democrat, called for Chauvin to be criminally charged for his alleged use of excessive force against a non-threatening suspect. At the request of President Donald Trump, the U.S. Attorney’s Office joined the investigation into Floyd’s death.
According to a Justice Department statement sent to the National Association of Chiefs of Police, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office in the midst of intense civil unrest are conducting a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd.
The DOJ has declared “the investigation a top priority and has assigned experienced prosecutors and FBI criminal investigators to the matter.”
The federal investigation will determine whether the actions by the involved now fired Minneapolis Police Department officers violated federal law.
“It is a violation of federal law for an individual acting under color of law to willfully deprive another person of any right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States,” wrote DOJ officials on Thursday..
The Department of Justice is asking for full cooperation from all witnesses “who believe they have relevant information and urges calm as investigators methodically continue to gather facts.”
The Department of Justice and FBI’s comprehensive investigation will compile all available information and thoroughly evaluate evidence and information obtained from witnesses. Upon conclusion of the FBI’s investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will determine whether federal criminal charges are supported by the evidence. If it is determined that there has been a violation of federal law, criminal charges will be sought.
However, not everyone is happy with the DOJ/FBI investigation since the two agencies are being accused of a number of criminal acts or unethical behavior. “After hearing and reading reports of law enforcement misconduct and alleged criminal acts in attempting the ouster of Republican President Donald Trump through bogus investigations and fake testimony,” said former police detective Lloyd Singleton, a retired internal affairs investigator.