Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said in a two minute video posted to social media that the officers involved in the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis not only “failed as cops, but fundamentally failed as human beings.”
Floyd, 46, was arrested on Memorial Day after he was accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a Minneapolis supermarket. Various cellphone videos of the arrest that followed show Floyd handcuffed and face-down on the street as officer Derek Chauvin, who was fired and is now charged with third-degree murder, uses his knee to restrain him. Floyd cries out for his mother and repeatedly says that he cannot breath. Other officers were shown also kneeling on Floyd and watching the incident unfold without intervening.
Minneapolis has since erupted in protests, fires and looting in the wake of the incident, and there have been protests in other cities as well.
“How disconnected does law enforcement have to be for a man to be suffocated by a cop in broad daylight, knowing the cameras are rolling, with fellow officers stand around watching?” Shields said in the video. “There’s not an answer to this because it’s not reasonable in any sense of the word.”
Shields said body cameras are being used and reviewed to be sure patterns of “negative behavior are not being exhibited” by APD officers. She said APD does not tolerate any form of chokehold or holds that apply pressure to the neck area when apprehending a suspect.
“My colleagues and I are appalled with what has occurred to George Floyd,” Shields said. “We fully expect for the officers to serve prison time. They’ve earned it. Our prayers go out to Mr. Floyd’s family. This never should have happened.”