‘I can’t breathe’: US Black man dies in police custody

Video shows a US police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, who died in custody.

An African-American man who said “I can’t breathe” as a white Minneapolis police officer pinned him down with his knee in the United States state of Minnesota died late on Monday, police confirmed, drawing outrage from community members and leaders, and leading to the officer’s arrest.

Video of the incident shows the police officer pinning down George Floyd to the pavement with his knee on the man’s neck for several minutes. 

Floyd can be heard saying in the video: “Please, please, I cannot breathe.”

The officer tells Floyd to “relax”.

Floyd responds: “I can’t breathe. Please, the knee in my neck.” 

The officer continues to hold down Floyd with his knee for several minutes, with Floyd pleading and asking for water.

“My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Please, please. I can’t breathe,” Floyd cries out, while moaning and trying to cough. 

Floyd eventually appears motionless under the officer’s knee.

Those who were watching the incident unfold can be heard begging police to move off Floyd.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said during a news conference on Tuesday that the four officers involved in the incident were now “former employees”. 

The city’s mayor, Jacob Frey, confirmed that the officers had been terminated, saying “this is the right decision for our city”. 

Derek Chauvin, the fired officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, has been charged with murder and manslaughter.

Across the US, protests have erupted over Floyd’s deadly arrest and police violence.

Two independent medical examiners have ruled that Floyd’s death in police custody was a homicide and that he died from asphyxiation.

This report was produced and edited by Al Jazeera NewsFeed’s Hassan Ghani.