DETROIT – Detroit Police Chief James Craig held a press conference on Thursday afternoon to address the Minneapolis Police Department’s handling of the death of George Floyd.
Craig was joined by Deputy Chief Todd Bettison Reverend Dr., Wendell Anthony President of NCAAP Detroit Branch, Terferi Brent Community Organizer, and Negus Vu from the Peoples Action.
On Monday night, an employee at a Minneapolis grocery store called police after Floyd allegedly tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill.
In widely circulated cellphone video of the subsequent arrest, Floyd, who was black, can be seen on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back while Officer Derek Chauvin presses him to the pavement with his knee on Floyd’s neck. The video shows Chauvin, who is white, holding Floyd down for minutes as Floyd complains he can’t breathe. The video ends with paramedics lifting a limp Floyd onto a stretcher and placing him in an ambulance.
Chief Craig said, in his opinion, the video showing the death of George Floyd is enough evidence to arrest now-fired officer Derek Chauvin for murder.
Craig said officers must be held to the same standard as a civilian. “If a civilian would have done what this officer did, what would we do? Arrest them,” Craig said.
Four officers were fired Tuesday; on Wednesday, Mayor Jacob Frey called for Chauvin to be criminally charged. Frey made no mention of the other three officers, who were also at the scene.
“When we make mistakes, we must own it, we stand up and take responsibility for it,” Craig said on his commitment to building relationships with the community.
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I add to the chorus of support for the swift and courageous actions by Police Chief Medaria Arrandondo in the dismissals of the four involved officers involved in this horrific and senseless death of George Floyd. Preservation of trust in our communities is always a key mandate https://t.co/T1oHrWEjiE— James E. Craig (@ChiefJECraigDPD) May 28, 2020