MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) – One of four Minneapolis police officers involved in the arrest of a black man, who died after one of the policeman pinned him with a knee to the throat, has been arrested and taken into custody, Minnesota’s public safety commissioner said on Friday.
The officer arrested was Derek Chauvin, the policeman seen on a bystander’s video kneeling on Floyd, according to local media reports.
The officer was in the custody of the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, television station Fox 9 KMSP reported, after an announcement by John Harrington, Minnesota Department of Public Safety commissioner.
The protests in Minneapolis were sparked by outrage over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was filmed crying out for help as Chauvin, who is white, pinned him to the ground with a knee to his neck. Floyd, 46, died on Monday.
A bystander’s cellphone footage showed Floyd repeatedly moaning and gasping while he pleaded to the officer kneeling on his neck, “Please, I can’t breathe.” After several minutes, Floyd gradually grows quiet and ceases to move.
Earlier on Friday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called for an end to the violent protests that have rocked Minneapolis and said the state’s National Guard would work to restore order following three nights of arson, looting and vandalism.
Walz also said he expected “swift” justice for the officers involved and promised a reckoning with the racial inequities behind the unrest triggered by Floyd’s death.
Reporting by Lisa Lambert in Washington, Brendan O’Brien in Chicago, Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut, and Peter Szekely in New York; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Peter Graff and Paul Simao