By Leonardo Blair, Christian Post Reporter – May 27, 2020
In the bystander video that has been watched by millions around the world, George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, begged for his life and cried for his mother before he visibly stopped breathing with the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer still pinned to his neck on Monday.
The video (warning: shocking content and profanity) has since sparked international outrage. Many people, including several prominent Christian leaders across racial and denominational lines, are now speaking out and urging others to take a stand against racial injustice.
Miles McPherson, senior pastor of the popular Rock Church in California, noted on Twitter: “Another black man was killed on camera, this time as four police officers held him down.
“This breaks my heart! Holding a hand-cuffed man down with your knee on his neck as he shouts he can’t breathe. What will it take for this to be unacceptable to all of us. #GeorgeFloyd.”
In the video, Floyd begged as the officer kept him pinned to the pavement resting firmly on his neck minutes before he would lay motionless.
“Please! Please! Please!” Floyd said as he moaned in pain with what sounds like labored breathing. A voice from a bystander in the video could be heard begging the officer to “let him breathe, at least.”
“I’m about to die,” Floyd pleaded again.
“Relax,” the officer told him.
“I can’t breathe. My face,” he responded as the officer kept pressing into his neck and asked him, “What do you want?”
“I can’t breathe. Your knee’s in my neck. I can’t breathe, sh*t,” he said.
Floyd cried for his mother in desperation as his pleas to the officer went unheeded.
“Mama! Mama!” he cried.
Floyd then tells the officer pinning him down that he was feeling pain everywhere.
“My stomach hurt. My neck hurt. Everything hurts,” he said.
Floyd was soon begging for water.
“Water or something. Please. Please,” he said.
About a minute-and-a-half into the video, a female bystander remarked that Floyd’s nose is bleeding. A male onlooker begged the officer to remove his knee from Floyd’s neck and tries to reason with him.
“He’s human bro,” he said.
Floyd continued to scream, “I cannot breathe.”
About four minutes into the video, Floyd’s cries began to taper off. His movement on the ground became mild twitches. He gasps for air. He eventually stopped twitching. His body is motionless after just over four minutes.
Bystanders who watched this happen screamed at the officer to remove his leg from Floyd’s neck. But he refused and threatened him with mace. They demanded that Floyd’s pulse be checked.
An Asian officer, who had been keeping the bystanders at bay, told them during a back-and-forth that Floyd is “off crack right now. He probably [overdosed].”
Floyd’s limp body was eventually removed by paramedics in the video, which is about 10 minutes in length. Floyd was later pronounced dead.
The Minneapolis Police Department said in a statement that officers had responded to a call about a man suspected of forgery. According to the Star Tribune, police had been called after someone tried to pay with a fake $20 bill at Cup Foods.
The man was found sitting on top of a blue car and “appeared to be under the influence.”
“He was ordered to step from his car,” according to the department’s statement. “After he got out, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.”
On Tuesday morning, without referring to the bystander video, the police updated the statement, titled “Man Dies After Medical Incident During Police Interaction.” The police said that additional information had “been made available” and that the FBI was joining the investigation.
Leaders like popular contemporary Christian musician Matthew West, who watched a part of the video, said what he witnessed was “wrong and evil on every level.”
“Sick to my stomach after watching video of police taking the life of #GeorgeFloyd I’m sure some say ‘well, you need to see the whole video,’” he wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “But context won’t change what I feel deep in my spirit right now. What I just saw is WRONG and EVIL on every level.”
READ MORE – https://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-leaders-express-outrage-over-george-floyds-death-call-police-actions-evil.html