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Man dies in Minneapolis police custody, video shows officer kneeling on handcuffed man's neck

Mayor: Officers involved 'terminated'
Posted at 9:15 AM, May 26, 2020

The FBI has been called in to investigate after the Minneapolis Police Department confirmed Monday that a man died while in police custody.

The announcement came the same day that video circulated on social media that showed a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on a handcuffed man's neck for several minutes he struggled to breathe.

On Tuesday, as video of the incident circulated on social media, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced that four officers have been "terminated" from the department. "This is the right call," Frey said.

According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, police say that they were called to investigate reports of forgery on the city's south side on Monday evening. Officers found a man matching the suspect's description sitting in his car.

Officers ordered the man out of the car, but police say the man "initially resisted" officers' orders. According to WCCO-TV, once the man was handcuffed, officers noticed the man was in "medical distress," and an ambulance was called to the scene.

The man, whose identity has not yet been released, later died at a local hospital after suffering a "medical episode."

Warning: The video below features violence and may not be suitable for all viewers.

Later on Monday evening, a video that claims to show the arrest began circulating on social media platforms. The video, which originally aired on Facebook Live, shows a handcuffed black man on the ground as a police officer kneels on his neck. A second officer looks on. At several points during the recording, the man tells officers that he can't breathe.

The video shows the officer kneeling on the man's neck as bystanders urge him to move.

Police say the officers had their body cameras on at the time of the incident. The footage has been turned over to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, who is investigating the incident along with the FBI.

In 2016, police in nearby Falcon Heights, Minnesota, shot and killed 32-year-old Philando Castille during a traffic stop. Castille's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, recorded Castille's last moments in a Facebook Live video. Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who shot and killed Castille, was charged with manslaughter but later acquitted.

Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Frey participated in a "community conversation" moderated by North News on Facebook. Watch the conversation below: