SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – President Donald Trump made his first public statement regarding the tragic death of George Floyd, whose death sparked outrage after video surfaced of a white police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck.
Video shows Floyd, a Black man, held on the ground by a white Minneapolis police officer, identified as Derek Chauvin.
Chauvin used his knee to press down on Floyd’s neck for several minutes.
“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,” the president tweeted Wednesday.
Floyd expressed to officers that he could not breathe, but the officer kept his knee on Floyd’s neck.
Bystanders approached and demanded that the officer get off of him. A second officer standing nearby exchanged a few words with witnesses.
At one point in the video, you can hear an officer say, “This is why you don’t do drugs kids.”
President Trump sent his condolences to the Floyd family and assured that justice will be served.
“I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement,” Trump said. “My heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!”
Many politicians, athletes and other celebrities took to social media to express their frustrations with the incident.
The mayor of Minneapolis called Wednesday for criminal charges to be filed against the police officer.
Based on the video, Mayor Jacob Frey said he believes officer Derek Chauvin should be charged for the death of George Floyd.
Chauvin and three other officers were fired Tuesday.
“I’ve wrestled with, more than anything else over the last 36 hours, one fundamental question: Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?” Frey said, who is white.
He later added: “I saw no threat. I saw nothing that would signal that this kind of force was necessary.”
Floyd’s death prompted protests Tuesday, with thousands taking to the streets at the intersection where he died.
Many protesters marched more than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) to the police precinct station in that part of the city, with some damaging the building’s windows and squad cars and spraying graffiti. Police in riot gear eventually confronted them with tear gas and projectiles. Tense skirmishes stretched late into the evening.
Latest News Headlines:
- Live: Pres. Trump, Biden to hold campaign events in battleground states
- Elton John gets his own Barbie doll
- With Charlie Brown specials gone from TV, here’s how to watch them for free
- Raiders test negative for COVID-19
- Strong winds create extreme fire danger