PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw is applauding Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo for his “swift and certain response” to the death of George Floyd, who died during a Monday arrest in which an officer kneeled on his neck for almost eight minutes.
In footage recorded by a bystander, Floyd can be heard pleading that he can’t breathe until he slowly stops talking and moving.
In a statement Thursday night, Outlaw said “communities of color are tired of reliving atrocities such as this over and over again. They are sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
In February, Outlaw became the first African-American woman to lead the Philadelphia Police Department
As a mother, Outlaw says her sons “relay to me that they fear for their lives because of the unjustified fear others have of them; solely due to their existence.”
Read Outlaw’s full statement below.
“Although the tragedy occurred hundreds of miles away from Philadelphia, the impact is felt all over the nation and world, particularly in black and brown communities. Throughout the nation, communities of color are tired of reliving atrocities such as this over and over again. They are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
As a member of the noble law enforcement profession, I know that those of us who work earnestly to serve all communities with fairness and sincerity, have grown weary of our efforts being stained by the actions of those who commit these inhumane acts. As a mother, I cannot relay enough the helplessness and sadness I feel when my sons, having been children of police officers their entire lives, relay to me that they fear for their lives because of the unjustified fear others have of them; solely due to their existence.
I applaud Chief Medaria Arradondo for his swift and certain response to this tragedy. He has sent a clear message that this type of conduct, including by those who turn a blind eye, will not be tolerated in his ranks. I share Chief Arradondo’s sentiments, and will continue to work with all of our partner stakeholders to ensure that we are policing with fairness, transparency, and dignity for all communities.”
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.
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