This week on Investigation Discovery, journalist Tony Harris looks into the tragic case of George Floyd, an African-American who was killed last month in Minneapolis at the hands of white police officers.
In The Murder of George Floyd: A Nation Responds, Tony Harris leads a debate with leading figures over how policing in the United States needs to change.
The show will feature a panel discussion about police violence, law enforcement reform, and activism across the country.
The panel will include PBS Newshour Correspondent and NBC & MSNBC Political Contributor Yamiche Alcindor, former Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, racial justice attorney, author, and activist Lurie Favors, Hudson, and civil rights activist and Organizer of Campaign Zero, Deray McKesson, among others.
The show will then be followed by the global premiere of the Oprah Winfrey Network’s OWN Spotlight: Where Do We Go from Here hosted by Oprah Winfrey, which will continue the debate on how to reform policing.
The tragic case of George Floyd
In Minneapolis, on May 25, 2020, police officers responded to a call that a man had attempted to buy cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. Seventeen minutes later, the suspect George Floyd, was killed while in the custody of those officers.
George Floyd was a 46-year-old father of five, originally from Houston, TX., he worked as a truck driver and a bouncer. He had just lost his job as security at a restaurant due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Floyd’s death sparked protests against racism and police brutality in Minneapolis, which quickly spread across the United States and even around the world.
The death of Floyd was well documented by surveillance footage along with cellphone cameras used by eyewitnesses.
On the day he died, Floyd was sat in an SUV across the street from a convenience store where he was accused using the fake 20 dollar bill when the store employees phoned the police and told them Floyd was drunk and incapable.
When officers Lane and Kueng arrived, they removed Floyd from the SUV and put him in handcuffs. At this stage, Floyd appears not to be resisting and also seems to be in some distress.
As the officers approach their vehicle, Floyd allegedly refuses to enter, saying that he is claustrophobic. He then appears to fall to the ground beside the police vehicle.
At this stage, officers David Chauvin and Tou Thao arrive on the scene, and all four policemen begin struggling with Floyd. They manage to get Floyd into the vehicle, but for reasons that are currently unclear, Chauvin then pulls him back out onto the street. Floyd is now lying face down on the road.
George Floyd can be heard saying, ‘I can’t breathe’
Footage from a bystander’s cellphone shows Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck while Lane and Kueng apply pressure to his torso. Floyd is heard calling for help and gasping, “I can’t breathe.”
At this point, the officers radio for medical assistance; however, another bystander’s cellphone shows that Chauvin continues to kneel on Floyd’s neck for at least eight minutes.
Floyd continuously tells the officers he can’t breathe.
The Minneapolis Police Department has stressed that at this stage, the officers are not following the correct procedure, and Chauvin is clearly in breach of regulations by kneeling on Floyd in such a manner.
David Chauvin refused to stop kneeling on Floyd
As bystanders continually shout at the officers to get off Floyd’s neck, he loses consciousness. Officer Lane allegedly askes if they should roll Floyd onto his side; Chauvin says no.
When paramedics reached the scene, they told Chauvin to take his knee off of Floyd. Floyd went into cardiac arrest and died a short time later.
The police department quickly fired all four officers. David Chauvin has been arrested and charged with unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter, for which the maximum penalties are prison terms of 40, 25, and 10 years respectively.
The three other officers involved have been charged with aiding and abetting. Chauvin’s bail has been set at $1.25 million.
An attorney for Thomas Lane has suggested that when the public sees footage from the officer’s body cam that they will see that Floyd was resisting arrest and that his client behaved honorably.
More from Investigation Discovery
Follow the links to read about more true crime profiled on ID.
In May 2019, Jennifer Dulos from Connecticut dropped her five kids off at school and then vanished without a trace. Her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, was arrested and charged with murder; however, he committed suicide before his court appearance. Jennifer’s remains still haven’t been discovered.
Serial killer Efren Salvidar aka The Angel of Death operated for years in a Los Angeles hospital, where he would inject his unsuspecting victims with drugs that murdered them. Charged with six deaths, some believe he could have killed up to 200 of his patients.
The Murder of George Floyd: A Nation Responds airs at 8/7c on Investigation Discovery. It will also be broadcast on Facebook Watch and YouTube during the network airing