KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri police is responding to the tragedy in Minneaplois this week that has shaken the nation after video surfaced showing a black man killed while in police custody.
The death of 46-year-old George Floyd, who was seen on video gasping for breath during an arrest in which an officer kneeled on his neck for almost eight minutes. In the footage, Floyd pleads that he cannot breathe and slowly stops talking and moving.
Floyd’s death on Memorial Day while in Minneapolis police custody have sparked violent protests multiple nights in one Minneapolis neighborhood with angry crowds looting stores, setting fires and leaving a path of damage that stretched for miles.
KCPD tweeted a response to the incident Thursday afternoon saying “The tragedy in Minneapolis has impacted all of us. We recognize our community has questions. KCPD is committed to training our officers to protect and preserve life.”
The department went on to say “We are reiterating to our officers our commitment to reasonable use of force to further our mission to protect and serve with professionalism, honor and integrity.”
(1/2) The tragedy in Minneapolis has impacted all of us. We recognize our community has questions. KCPD is committed to training our officers to protect and preserve life.
— kcpolice (@kcpolice) May 28, 2020
Protests have also spread to other U.S. cities. In California, hundreds of people protesting Floyd’s death blocked a Los Angeles freeway and shattered windows of California Highway Patrol cruisers. Memphis police blocked a main thoroughfare after a racially mixed group of protesters gathered outside a police precinct. The situation intensified later in the night, with police donning riot gear and protesters standing shoulder-to-shoulder in front of officers stationed behind a barricade.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI in Minneapolis said Thursday they were conducting “a robust criminal investigation” into Floyd’s death and making the case a priority. The announcement came a day after President Donald Trump tweeted that he had asked an investigation to be expedited.
The FBI had already announced that it would investigate whether Floyd’s civil rights were violated.
The officer who kneeled on Floyd and three others were fired Tuesday. On Wednesday, the mayor called for him to be criminally charged.