Protesters in the United States state of Minnesota on Tuesday filled the Minneapolis intersection where George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was pinned down by a white officer before dying at a hospital on Monday.
The gruesome video of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man who died Monday evening in Minnesota after being handcuffed and pinned down by police, went viral on Tuesday, prompting Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James and a multitude of other prominent pro athletes to call for justice on various social media platforms.
The hip-hop community is standing in solidarity with and demanding justice for an unarmed Black man who was recently killed at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minn., and a bystander caught it all on video.
Protesters chanted: “I can’t breathe” and “Jail killer KKKops.”
The protesters eventually marched to a city police precinct, where police used tear gas to disperse the crowd. Police said some protesters damaged windows and a squad car and sprayed graffiti on the building.
The arrest of Mr. Floyd took place on Monday evening after four Minneapolis officers responded to a call about a man trying to use forged documents at a supermarket; a bystander video shows an officer pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck during the arrest, as he repeatedly says, “I can’t breathe,” and, “Please, I can’t breathe.”
After a few minutes, Floyd, lying face down in the street with his hands cuffed behind his back, became silent and motionless; the officer continued to pin Floyd’s neck to the pavement with his knee. (The case has drawn troubling comparisons to the 2014 death of Eric Garner.)
Throughout the day on Tuesday, influential athletes took to Twitter and Instagram to voice their outrage.
LeBron James posted an image of the officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck alongside a photo of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem, with the words “This… Is Why.”
As a caption, James added, “Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it still blurred to you??” and Kaepernick shared the same split image on his Instagram stories.
Other notable athletes that expressed similar sentiments include Odell Beckham Jr., Donovan Mitchell, Jaylen Brown, and Lisa Leslie, and many prominent white players and coaches, such as Chirs Long and Steve Kerr, who tweeted, “This is murder. Disgusting. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with US????”
Four Minneapolis officers involved in the arrest were fired on Tuesday, but community leaders and members have called for the officers to be prosecuted.
The FBI and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are investigating the incident.