President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he had requested a Justice Department investigation into the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis.
“At my request, the FBI and the Department of Justice are already well into an investigation as to the very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Video captured a police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes despite his complaints that he could not breathe. He ultimately stopped moving and died.
Trump did not take sides, signaling support for local law enforcement but also expressing sympathy to Floyd’s family.
“I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement,” Trump wrote. “My heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!”
….I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement. My heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2020
The four officers involved in the incident were fired by the Minneapolis Police Department.
Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey issued a statement on Facebook about the incident.
“Being Black in America should not be a death sentence. For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a Black man’s neck,” he wrote. “Five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, you’re supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic, human sense.”