- The Washington Times - Friday, May 29, 2020

Attorney General William P. Barr said Friday the video of a Minneapolis police officer putting his knee on the neck of George Floyd just before he died was “deeply disturbing” and vowed to expedite the Justice Department investigation.

“The video images of the incident that ended with the death of Mr. Floyd, while in custody of Minneapolis police officers were harrowing to watch and deeply disturbing,” he said in a statement.

The Justice Department on Thursday said its investigation into Mr. Floyd’s death is a “top priority.” Department officials are looking into whether Mr. Floyd’s civil rights were violated during the incident.

Mr. Barr said the FBI and Justice Department are working with state prosecutors to probe what happened.

“Both state and federal officers are working diligently and collaboratively to ensure that any available evidence relevant to these decisions is obtained as quickly as possible,” he said. “Under our system, charging decisions must be, and will be, based on law and facts. This process is proceeding quickly.”



Mr. Barr said the decision to bring charges will first be made by state prosecutors before the feds weigh in.

The statement came after a third straight night of violent protests erupted in Minneapolis, with demonstrators burning businesses, including a police precinct.

Mr. Floyd, a black man, was arrested by Minneapolis police Monday for allegedly passing a counterfeit bill. During the arrest, Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, pinned him on the ground and placed a knee on his neck. 

Mr. Floyd repeatedly told the officers he couldn’t breathe, according to a video recording of the incident.

All four officers involved in the incident have been fired from the city police force and Mr. Chauvin was arrested Friday.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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