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Responding to a May 25 video showing a Minneapolis police officer using his knee to pin down George Floyd by his neck until he was unable to breathe, Kristina Roth, the senior program officer for Criminal Justice Programs at Amnesty International USA said:

“No person should ever wake up wondering if that day will be the day that a police officer ends their life, yet people of color, particularly black people, across the country live with that painful and traumatic reality. The actions of this Minneapolis police officer have terrorized people who have already lost so much.

“We are incensed that nearly six years after Eric Garner uttered ‘I can’t breathe’ as he was killed by the New York Police Department, police officers still don’t seem to have learned to listen to a person’s call for help. George Floyd’s life mattered. And so did the lives of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor and too many more. Police are supposed to protect life, and that principle has been ignored by police officers who have denied black people their humanity. The police must be held accountable for this use of deadly force, that may also violate the department’s own policy.”

Amnesty International USA is glad to see the Federal Bureau of Investigation is already involved in this case and calls for a prompt, thorough, and transparent investigation, and for the family of the victim be kept up to date as the investigation ensues. Further, Amnesty International USA is urging Congress to work to pass the PEACE Act to limit the use of deadly force, which should only ever be used as a last resort.

People can learn more about police accountability and deadly force here.

To schedule an interview, contact Mariya Parodi, [email protected] 

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