Democratic congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar have called for the police officer who knelt on George Floyd‘s neck to be charged with murder, as the former claims politicians are scared of “the political power of police.”
On Monday, four police officers in Minneapolis were fired after footage emerged of one of them kneeling on the neck of Mr Floyd, a black man, who repeatedly shouted that he couldn’t breathe.
Mr Floyd died later that day, after an ambulance was called, and protests erupted last night, with demonstrators calling for an end to police brutality against black people in the US.
The footage of the officer and Mr Floyd, who was clearly in distress, was criticised by many online, and celebrities including John Boyega, Jamie Foxx and Snoop Dogg condemned repeated police violence on black people.
On Wednesday night, Ms Omar tweeted: “The police officer who killed George Floyd should be charged with murder,” and Ms Ocasio-Cortez later retweeted it to her feed.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez, separately tweeted: “#GeorgeFloyd should be alive. Instead, he was killed as he begged police for his life.
“The impunity of police violence is a systemic problem we must face to save lives. Police brutality is now a leading cause of death for young Black men in the US. The status quo is killing us.”
The mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, also shared his thoughts, and called for the police officer who knelt on Mr Floyd’s neck, to be arrested.
“Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?” he said on Wednesday. “If you had done it, or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now. And I cannot come up with a good answer to that.”
There has been greater scrutiny of threats and violence against black Americans in the last couple of months, and Mr Floyd’s death is the latest incident to spark outrage and disgust.
Earlier this week, a white woman, Amy Cooper, was fired from her job after footage was released online of her calling the police on a black man, Christian Cooper, who asked her to put her dog on a lead.
Protests were held in Georgia earlier this month, after footage was released of the shooting of black man, Ahmaud Arbery, by two white men, Gregory and Travis McMichael.
The footage was filmed two months earlier, and it took protests and nationwide criticism for the men to be arrested and charged with murder.
There have been numerous incidents of police officers using excessive force on black Americans over the last few years, and Ms Ocasio-Cortez claimed on Twitter that US politicians are scared of the political power that they hold.
“I’ll just say it: a lot of politicians are scared of the political power of the police,and that’s why changes to hold them accountable for flagrant killings don’t happen. That in itself is a scary problem,” she tweeted.
“We shouldn’t be intimidated out of holding people accountable for murder.”
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