Rappers Demand Justice for George Floyd, Who Was Killed by Police Officer That Pinned His Knee on Floyd’s Neck
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.
On Tuesday (May 26), video footage surfaced on the internet and social media of a Black man named George Floyd, a former rapper from Houston, who was killed while being detained by a White Minneapolis police officer. According to a report from CBS News, the 10-minute clip was filmed by an onlooker on Monday (May 25). The person filming witnessed the officer with his knee on Floyd's neck as he pinned him to the ground near a patrol car.
In the chilling video, Floyd can be heard pleading with the officer, who was accompanied by another member of the Minneapolis Police Department. "I can't breathe," Floyd says. Floyd is also heard groaning and saying, "My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts...[I need] water or something. Please. Please. I can't breathe, officer...I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe."
Witnesses on the scene tell the officer, who had his knee of Floyd's neck for about eight minutes, that the man cannot breathe and that the officer should get Floyd up off of the ground. The woman who is said to have recorded the footage notes that Floyd's nose began to bleed. The woman also repeatedly urged the officer to check the man's pulse, saying that he is "non-responsive" and that his body was not moving. The officer did not budge nor did he remove his knee from Floyd's neck. George Floyd, who was apparently non-responsive, was on the ground until paramedics arrived and took him away on a stretcher.
According to NBC News, early Tuesday (May 26), Minneapolis Police released a statement, which states that the officers were responding to a report of "forgery" and found the suspect in his car. The statement also includes that Floyd got out of his car as he was instructed to do so, but physically resisted officers.
"Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress," the statement continues. "Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later."
It is unclear what transpired prior to Floyd being aggressively detained by police, but the owner of a restaurant, whose establishment's security cameras captured video footage of the incident as well, said that the man did not appear to be resisting.
Four officers have been fired following George Floyd's detainment, which resulted in his death. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also said it was the "right call" to terminate the officers. "Four responding MPD officers involved in the death of George Floyd have been terminated," Mayor Frey said in a tweet. "This is the right call."
The FBI and state law enforcement authorities reportedly have since launched an investigation into Floyd's death.
Not only have riots arose in Minneapolis, but people have been attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets while demanding the arrests of the four officers that were fired.
George Floyd, who was raised Houston, also had a rap career in the 1990s. According to the Houston Chronicle, Floyd went by the rap moniker Big Floyd and worked with the Screwed Up Click, led by Houston legend DJ Screw. Floyd also was part of the group Presidential Playas and did a freestyle called "Sittin’ on Top of the World," which has been circulating on the internet following his death.
Members of the hip-hop community are making calls to action on social media to seek justice for the former artist. Rappers are demanding justice for Floyd, his family and other Black people whose lives have been taken at the hands of police officers.
Chance the Rapper promoted a protest outside of the Chicago Police Department's headquarters on Tuesday (May 26) in honor of Floyd.
Meanwhile, T.I. wrote in an Instagram post, "So fuckin sick of posting this shit Maaaaan... But then if we don't,it goes unnoticed. I'm ready when y'all is... IT WONT STOP UNTIL WE STOP IT."
"Enough is enough!," Cardi B said on social media. "What will it take ? A civil war ? A new president? Violent riots ? It’s tired ! I’m tired ! The country is tired !You don’t put fear in people when you do this you just show how coward YOU ARE ! And how America is really not the land of the free !"
Diddy also said on IG, "AMERICA THE WORLD IS WATCHING."
See more of hip-hop's reactions to George Floyd's death below.
LL Cool J
Trae Tha Truth
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