PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is using his platform to condemn the death of George Floyd, who died during a Monday arrest in Minneapolis, in which an officer kneeled on his neck for almost eight minutes. Wentz tweeted a lengthy statement Thursday night, saying “the institutional racism in this country breaks my heart and needs to stop.”
“Can’t even fathom what the black community has to endure on a daily basis,” Wentz wrote. “I don’t understand the society we live in that doesn’t value all human life. It’s heartbreaking and disturbing. My prayers go out to every man, woman and child that has to endure the effects of the racism in our society.”
— Carson Wentz (@cj_wentz) May 28, 2020
Wentz added that being a white man from North Dakota, he’ll never “know what the black community goes through.”
Wentz wasn’t the only Eagle to weigh in on Floyd’s death. Tight end Zach Ertz offered his support for the Minneapolis community.
“I am sorry for the pain and hurt the African American community has endured by another human and more than anything I am sorry that you feel that you are alone in this situation,” Ertz wrote in a tweet.
With LOVE, pic.twitter.com/SVfBYQkAPa
— Zach Ertz (@ZERTZ_86) May 28, 2020
Former Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, wearing a shirt that reads “charge & convict the murderers of George Floyd,” tweeted a video about Floyd’s death Wednesday.
Who protects us from the Police?Charge and convict the murderers of George Floyd ! pic.twitter.com/90hN3AmNYo
— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) May 27, 2020
Floyd, 46, was arrested Monday after an employee at a grocery store called police to accuse him of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. The cellphone video shows Floyd, who is black, face-down on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back, as officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, uses the knee restraint on his neck.
Floyd’s head is turned to the side and he does not appear to be resisting. As the minutes tick by and Chauvin continues to hold him down, Floyd’s complaints about not being able to breathe stop as he falls silent and motionless. Toward the end of the video, paramedics arrive, lift a limp Floyd onto a stretcher and place him in an ambulance.
“He wasn’t actively resisting, and he was saying he couldn’t breathe,” said Charles P. Stephenson, a former police officer and FBI agent with expertise in use-of-force tactics. “You have to understand that possibility is there (that Floyd couldn’t breathe), and you release any kind of restriction you might have on an airway immediately.”
Chauvin and the three other responding officers have been fired, and the FBI is investigating whether they willfully deprived Floyd of his civil rights. Chauvin has not spoken publicly, and his attorney has not responded to calls seeking comment.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called in the National Guard on Thursday as looting broke out in St. Paul and a wounded Minneapolis braced for more violence after rioting reduced parts of one neighborhood to a smoking shambles.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)