A PROSECUTOR investigating the death of an unarmed black man whose neck was crushed during an encounter with police has said the officers involved may not face criminal charges.
Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman was speaking at a press conference where updates were given on the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week.
He said prosecutors needed to determine if the officer captured on film kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for eight minutes until he passed out and later died, had used ‘excessive’ force.
Freeman said he and other law enforcement agencies were working hard to establish the facts of the case, then added: “But there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge.”
He refused to disclose further information when asked by reporters.
Freeman spoke of his shock at Floyd’s horrific death and a video which saw him proclaim ‘I can’t breathe.’
‘Graphic, horrible and terrible’
He said the video of Floyd’s final moments while police officer Derek Chauvin was knelt on his neck was “graphic, horrible and terrible”.
Condeming the actions of Chauvin he said “no person should do that”.
However he added that his job is to “prove he [Chauvin] violated a criminal statute”.
The video of Floyd’s death has sparked a nationwide outcry, and seen three nights of rioting in Minneapolis.
Freeman pleaded for patience from the Minneapolis community but warned that the investigation ‘can’t be rushed’ for fear of a repeat of the Freddie Gray case in 2015 where all charges were dropped against cops involved in the black man’s death.
Appeal for eyewitnesses
The FBI, the district attorney for Minnesota and other officials said they were working hard to try and bring a resolution to the matter and appealed for more eyewitnesses to Floyd’s arrest to help them do so successfully at Thursday’s press conference.
During the press conference Rainer Drolshagen, Special FBI agent in charge of investigation, said: “We’re asking everyone that was present before, during and after the incident to come forward to help build the best picture of what occurred.”