DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – State Sen. Royce West is calling for the arrest of the officers involved in George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“I call on the Department of Justice to expedite its criminal investigation in to this matter, and call for the arrest of the officers responsible for this homicide,” said West in a statement. “As a former prosecutor and attorney for 40 years, I believe there is ample evidence for those officers involved in this incident to be charged and for the case to proceed through the justice system.”
A 10-minute Facebook live captured the disturbing minutes leading up to Floyd’s death on Monday. Officer Derek Chauvin is seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck while he lies face down, handcuffed, and pleading that he can’t breathe. Minutes later, Floyd goes limp and appears to lose consciousness. Chauvin, and the other police officers on the scene appear to ignore not only Floyd’s cries for help, but also those of people watching.
The video of what happened to Floyd, and his death sparked outrage after going viral. Riots and protests followed within 48 hours.
The democratic senator blamed subsequent riots in Minneapolice on “outside instigators,” who “threw some rocks or vandalized a police car, causing an originally peaceful protest to escalate.”
“Earlier this month, heavily-armed protestors encircled the Minnesota state house to demand their state be ‘liberated’ from stay-at-home orders related to COVID-19. The police handled the situation in a peaceful manner,” said West in a statement. “This week, protestors armed with nothing but their voices and signs protested the senseless killing of George Floyd. This somehow managed to descend into a street-war, with police in full riot gear.”
West went on to applaud Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who called for charges against Chauvin, an officer with multiple police brutality complaints, in the death of Floyd.
Floyd, a 46-year-old Houston native, was also a father.
No charges were filed in Floyd’s death, but his family echoes West’s plea for arrests, if not more.
“Policing in America today has its challenges. We cannot continue to bring harm to innocent people, continue to exercise biased behavior, or continue to encounter incidents of excessive use of force resulting in the killing of unarmed and non-threatening human beings,” said West. “There is no reason violent and incendiary tactics should be used by any police department in the United States.”