Four Minneapolis police officers were fired on Tuesday, a day after a bystander’s cell phone video captured one of them kneeling on the neck of an unarmed black man who later died in a hospital, the city’s mayor said.
A video of the Monday evening incident showed an officer pressing his knee into the neck of the man who was later identified as George Floyd, according to Mayor Jacob Frey.
“He should not have died. What we saw was horrible, completely and utterly messed up,” Frey said during a news briefing on Tuesday.
Frey later announced on Twitter that the four responding officers involved in the apprehension of Floyd were terminated.
“This is the right call,” he wrote.
A series of police-involved shootings and killings of black men in recent years have triggered mass protests across the country and led to the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has demanded an end to an unjustified use of lethal force in minority communities.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death, the Minneapolis Police Department said in a statement on Tuesday.
The department said police officers responded to a call at 8 p.m. local time about a forgery in progress. The officers found the suspect, Floyd, aged in his 40s, in a car, it added.
After he exited the car, a physical altercation between the officers and Floyd ensued. When they handcuffed him, Floyd appeared to be in medical distress.
An ambulance took the suspect to the hospital, where he died a short time later, police said.
No weapons were involved and no police were hurt in the incident, according to police.