The sister of George Floyd, the black man killed by police in Minneapolis after an incident captured on video in which an officer knelt on his neck as he lay on the ground, has called for those involved in his death to be charged with murder.
Bridget Floyd said that four of the officers involved, who were fired on Tuesday, “should be in jail for murder”.
George Floyd, 46, died on Monday. The FBI and authorities in Minnesota have launched investigations into his death. The officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck is white, and has been identified as Derek Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the force.
The killing prompted huge protests in Minneapolis on Tuesday night. Police in riot gear fired teargas and rubber bullets into the crowd.
On Wednesday, protesters continued to gather at the site of the altercation, where demonstrations remained peaceful throughout the evening.
Several blocks away, crowds surrounded a police precinct as some smashed in windows and vandalized the building. Police responded with more teargas, rubber bullets and flash grenades.
At least one person was struck by a deterrent round in the head, causing severe injuries and a trip to the hospital, freelance journalist Jared Goyette tweeted.
On Wednesday morning, Bridget Floyd struggled to hold back tears as she spoke to NBC’s Today show about the family’s shock and grief.
“Me and my family are taking this very, very hard. It’s very heartbreaking, it’s very disturbing,” she said.
“I would like for these officers to be charged with murder, because that’s exactly what they did. They murdered my brother. He was crying for help.”
Jacob Frey, mayor of Minneapolis, also called for criminal charges to be filed against Chauvin on Wednesday.
“I’ve wrestled with, more than anything else over the last 36 hours, one fundamental question: why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?” said Frey, who is white.
He later added: “I saw no threat. I saw nothing that would signal that this kind of force was necessary.”
Donald Trump called Floyd’s death “very sad and tragic” in a tweet on Wednesday evening.
“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,” he tweeted. “I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement.”