Minneapolis mayor calls for charges against officer who put knee on man’s neck

News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson says use of force appeared to be unnecessary

The mayor of Minneapolis called Wednesday for charges against the arresting officer involved in the arrest of a black man who died Monday evening in police custody.

A bystander recorded video showing the officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck while he was handcuffed. In the video, Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.

News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson, who was a police officer for more than 20 years, said the use of force appeared to be unnecessary.

“When I look at that video, it’s troubling first of all,” said Jefferson. “Simply because the person is restrained. He has his hands cuffed, he has no fight in him, he is not resisting anymore if he was resisting prior to that particular time.”

Police said Floyd matched the description of a suspect in a forgery case at a grocery store.

Jefferson said the actions of the officers in the video go against they are taught in the police academy.

“Officers are trained to know that when the suspect stops fighting or there is no resistance, you stop, as well," Jefferson said. "They didn’t do that.”

Floyd’s death prompted large protests Tuesday in Minneapolis, with hundreds of people packing the streets at the intersection where he died.

A chain portrait of George Floyd is part of the memorial for him, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, near the site of the arrest of Floyd who died in police custody Monday night in Minneapolis after video shared online by a bystander showed a white officer kneeling on his neck during his arrest as he pleaded that he couldn't breathe. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said four officers involved in the arrest were fired Tuesday. The next day, he called for charges against the arresting officer in the case.

Based on the video, Jefferson said he thinks charges should be brought.

“I think charges should be brought against them, simply because what they did was unnecessary,” explained Jefferson.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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