MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he has asked the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation to expedite the investigation into the death of George Floyd.
“At my request, the FBI and the Department of Justice are already well into an investigation as to the very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd....” wrote Trump on Twitter. “...I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement. My heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!”
Floyd died in police custody Monday night after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes as the 46-year-old gasped for breath with his face against the pavement.
Authorities say the confrontation began after a grocery store employee called the police to report someone trying to pass a counterfeit bill.
A bystander recorded a video of the officer pressing his knee on Floyd's neck, which was quickly circulated on social media, with people calling for justice in the case.
On Tuesday, the Minneapolis Police Department fired four officers for their involvement in the deadly incident. The city’s mayor, Jacob Frey, announced the terminations on Twitter, and said the firings were the “right call.”
Frey is among those who say more action is needed to bring justice in the case. On Wednesday, the mayor called for criminal charges to be filed against Derek Chauvin, the white officer seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck before his death. Frey said he saw nothing to justify that kind of force.
Wednesday evening, protests continued in the streets of Minneapolis. The video below shows the protesters as they confront police.
The Associated Press reports that Floyd was a former Texas high school football star who was carving out a living in his adopted state and he had recently lost his job because of the coronavirus pandemic.