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Pressure mounts for US officers to be charged over George Floyd’s death

George Floyd's death

George Floyd

Calls grow for the prosecution of four Minneapolis police officers over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man.

Mr. Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, died on Monday after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by an officer’s knee, in an episode that was recorded on video by a bystander, sparking condemnation and protests.

“What we saw was a public lynching without a rope,” said Leslie Redmond, president of the Minneapolis chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

“Enough is enough. We are done dying,” Redmond told Al Jazeera. “We want to see them prosecuted.”

In emotional appeals on US news channels, Floyd’s family demanded justice.

“These officers, they need to be arrested right now, the people want justice right now,” Philonese Floyd, George’s brother, told CNN on Thursday morning.

“They need to be convicted and get the death penalty,” Philonese Floyd said.

Bridgett Floyd, George’s sister, told ABC’s Good Morning America programme on Wednesday that “those guys need to be put in jail”.

“They murdered my brother,” she added.

George Floyd's death

Protesters gather at the scene where George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was arrested by police officers before dying in hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Background – ‘I can’t breathe’

An explosive footage, recorded by a bystander and shared widely on social media early Tuesday, incited community outrage, an F.B.I. civil rights investigation and the firing of the officer and three colleagues who were also at the scene when George Floyd was being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by an officer’s knee.

Floyd died at the hospital late on Monday after a white police officer, knelt on the 46-year-old’s neck for several minutes as Floyd moaned and yelled: “I can’t breathe.”

The bizarre episode was recorded on video by a bystander, sparking condemnation and protests.

In a news conference on Wednesday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey joined calls for the officer who pinned Floyd down to be arrested, asking: “Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?”

He added: “If you had done it, or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now.”

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