WASHINGTON DC: Former United States President Barack Obama finally on Friday breaks silence on the death of a 46-year-old black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer pinned his neck to the ground for minutes-on-end.
Obama noted that America is already going through coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout are desperately seeking a return to “normal,” but stressed that for millions of Americans “being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal.'”
“This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America. It can’t be normal,” Obama, the US’s first black president, said in a lengthy statement. “If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better.” Obama added
“It will fall mainly on the officials of Minnesota to ensure that the circumstances surrounding George Floyd‘s death are investigated thoroughly and that justice is ultimately done. But it falls on all of us, regardless of our race or station — including the majority of men and women in law enforcement who take pride in doing their tough job the right way, every day — to work together to create a ‘new normal’ in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts,” he added.
How George Floyd was murdered
Video of Floyd’s arrest captured by a bystander and posted on Facebook appeared to show the victim pinned to the ground, repeatedly pleading “I can’t breathe” for nearly four minutes as an officer holds his neck to the ground with his knee. He appeared to be in handcuffs in the video footage.
Floyd, 46, appeared to lose consciousness as the officer maintained his position on the victim.
His pulse was checked about three minutes after he stopped gasping for air, but it is unclear from the video what the assessment was at that point. He was then loaded on to a stretcher and moved into an ambulance.