MIAMI – Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina told police officers on Wednesday that there was no training teaching the “deeply disturbing” tactic a Minneapolis officer used before George Floyd died on Monday.
Video shows Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of Floyd, 46, ignoring his pleas. He warned Chauvin that he couldn’t breathe and cried out for his mother saying “everything hurts.” Floyd was unarmed and he was the suspect of a nonviolent crime.
Colina said he stands by Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo for taking swift action after he learned about the “deeply disturbing” video. He said Floyd’s death prompted him to meet with the Miami Police executive staff and to warn officers.
“It is very evident that what occurred there was wrong,” Colina said. “There is no training across anywhere in this country -- especially here in the city of Miami -- that teaches someone to take that kind of action. There is a lack of humanity that is exhibited there.”
Colina said he and the executive staff released a video asking police officers to “make sure that we respect life above everything else.”
Chauvin was not the only one restraining Floyd. Three other officers, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, were also involved in his detention. The department fired all four of them on Wednesday. Colina said he supported Arradondo’s decision.
“We need to put the value of life significantly higher than any crime that would have occurred there,” Colina said. “Someone in that scene should have gone over to that officers and stopped that action and had the courage to do the right thing.”
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported protesters were so angry they damaged a police car and officers responded with tear gas during a Tuesday night clash. Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Floyd’s family, asked protesters to social distance and keep the peace.
“We cannot sink to the level of our oppressors, and we must not endanger others," Crump said in a statement on Wednesday.
Floyd’s sister, Bridgett Floyd, told NBC’s “Today” and Floyd’s cousin Tera Brown told CNN that prosecutors need to charge the officers with murder. Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, told CNN Floyd was a "gentle giant.” Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter Gianna Floyd survives him.
A Minneapolis Police Department spokesperson released a statement Monday saying officers ordered Floyd to get out of his car. The spokesperson reported he got off but he “physically resisted officers" before he “appeared to be suffering medical distress." There is an ongoing investigation involving the FBI.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey held a news conference after protesters clashed with police officers on Tuesday night.
“We are not talking about a split-second decision that was made incorrectly,” Frey said Wednesday. “There’s somewhere around 300 seconds in those five minutes, every one of which the officer could have turned back.”