‘I can’t breathe’ in Minneapolis

“I cannot breathe,” the black man tells the white police officer kneeling on his neck. “Don’t kill me!”

The man is on the ground, on his stomach, handcuffed behind his back. He is wedged against the tire of the patrol car, near 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis.


In broad daylight.

In front of a crowd of witnesses. At least one of of the witnesses videotapes the whole thing, as the man pleads with police to get off of his neck, as he says he can’t breathe, as he gradually stops talking and stops moving.

The witnesses shout at the police.

“Get off of him now!”

“He cannot breathe!”

“His nose is bleeding!”

“He’s not responsive right now, bro!”

“Bro, are you serious? Check his pulse. Check his pulse, bro.”

“Bro, he has not moved, bro. Check his pulse.”

“Bro, he’s not even fucking moving! Get off of his neck!”

This goes on. And on. And on.

The police were called because of a “forgery in progress.” That’s not a violent crime.

When they arrived, they found the suspect sitting in his car, and ordered him out.

They say he resisted. But by the time he is on his stomach, on the ground, handcuffed behind his back, a police officer kneeling on his neck, he is clearly incapable of resisting.

At least one person in the crowd videotapes the man on the ground, the police officer on his neck, as he begs and as he finally stops speaking and stops moving.

An ambulance arrives. The police pick up the man, who is no longer moving. They load him on the ambulance.

He is dead. Here’s what the Minneapolis Police Department says:

“Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.  Officers called for an ambulance.  He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.”

A Facebook comment responds, “Anybody handcuffed face down with someone’s knee pinned against their neck would also experience a ‘medical issue.'”

The FBI has been called in to investigate. The Minneapolis Police Department says police body cameras were on. We do not have that footage, of course.

We do have video from Darnella Frazier. She videotaped what was happening, as it happened. She posted her video on Facebook.

“The police killed him, bro, right in front of everybody,” Frazier said on Facebook. “He was crying, telling them like, ‘I can’t breathe,’ and everything. They did not care. They killed this man.”

x x x x x

There’s a protest today, 5 p.m. at 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis.



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4 responses to “‘I can’t breathe’ in Minneapolis

  1. Rick J

    I called my council member Reich and I will call all my friends and be there @ 5 Pm justice demonstration.


  2. Pingback: Black man dies during police arrest in Minneapolis: Protest today, 5 p.m., 38th and Chicago |

  3. The Minneapolls Police Department needs to be disbanded, its member’s histories thoroughly vetted, and cops suspected of harassment, cruelty or any kind of transgression be brought to trail and locked up. St Paul isn’t perfect, but its community based police service is far more in touch with all neighborhoods, including the ones with high crime rates. Time to impose similar requirements on Minneapolis, starting with one mandating that officers live in Minneapolis proper, not some all-white suburb. At the moment, “Serve and Protect” is a grim joke in the City of Lakes. Either we are all served and protected or none of us are. Period.


  4. Pingback: Protest and Response | News Day

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