Black man dies screaming 'Please, I can't breathe' as white Minneapolis cop kneels on his neck during arrest
Even as the country struggles to come to terms with the senseless shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, another shocking video from Minneapolis appears to show a police officer pinning a black man to the ground by his neck using his knees until he loses consciousness and dies.
The altercation started after police responded to a "forgery in progress" at the 3700 Block of Chicago Avenue South and found the man, who is said to have matched the suspect's description, sitting in his car, according to the Fox13.
At the scene, they found him to be "under the influence" and ordered him to step out, only for him to resist the responding officers, police said.
"He was ordered to step from his car. After he got out, he physically resisted officers," police spokesman John Elder said in a statement. "Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress."
The medical distress, distressing video captured by bystander Darnella Frazier showed, was a result of a white police officer keeping his knee pressed onto the man's neck even as he begged to be let go because he couldn't breathe.
"Please," the man can be heard pleading. "Please, please I can't breathe."
The arresting officer appears to be unmoved by his pleas and continues to kneel on the man's neck for several minutes as he continues to moan in pain. The officer doesn't heed witnesses who ask him to go easy on the man either.
"Bro, you've got him down at least let him breathe, man." one man says. "He's not even resisting arrest ... he's human, bro."
One of the officers then snarkily replies, "This is why you don't do drugs, kids."
"This ain't about drugs bro! He's human," the man hits back. "You're enjoying it. Look at you. Your body language, you bum. You know that's bogus right now."
Around four minutes into the video, he seems to lose consciousness and then becomes unresponsive. The man, who is said to be in his 40s and was not identified, was rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance, but could not be saved. He was declared dead a short while later.
Nekima Levy-Armstrong, a prominent local activist, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that watching the video of the incident made her "sick to her stomach" and that this was yet another example of police brutality towards African-American men.
"Whatever the man may have done should not have ended in a death sentence," she said. "What started as an alleged economic incident once again turned deadly for a black man."
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also criticized the officers' handling of the altercation and said it was "completely and utterly messed up."
"For five minutes, we watched as a white officer pressed his knee into the neck of a black man. For five minutes," he said. "When you hear someone calling for help, you are supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic human sense."
The FBI has confirmed it is investigating the man's death with the aid of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. All body camera footage has been turned over to the BCA, which is in charge of investigating most police shootings and in-custody deaths.
The officers involved in the incident have been placed on paid administrative pending the outcome of the investigation as per department protocol, police said.