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Another black death at hands of police

Minneapolis police have added another name to the list of Minnesota black men who have died at the hands of police. The list is getting longer, and drawing more attention to Minnesota from the rest of the country as a place where “Minnesota Nice” doesn’t extend to all.

On Monday, a Minneapolis police officer knelt on the neck of a black man suspected of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 in a local shop. A live-stream video on Facebook shows the officer applying pressure to George Floyd’s neck as he lay on the ground, handcuffed and held down by other officers, for five minutes as Floyd gasped for breath and begged to be allowed to breath. Floyd finally passed out, was loaded into an ambulance and taken to a hospital, where he died.

The FBI and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are conducting investigations into the case, and their findings should be carefully and thoroughly considered, but the video itself shows a heart-rending use of force that the officers involved will be hard pressed to explain. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said, “Whatever the investigation reveals, it does not change the simple truth, (Floyd) should still be with us this morning.”

Gov. Tim Walz said “The lack of humany in this disturbing video is sickening. We will get answers and seek justice.”

Minneapolis has already fired the four officers involved in the death, and it seems likely that criminal charges will be brought against the officers.

This kind of policing should not be happening, anywhere. Police departments around the country should not have to wait until someone dies before firing police officers who abuse their power. The vast majority of excellent police officers who treat people with respect should not have to put up with the suspicions and disrespect brought on by the actions of a violent few.

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