President Trump has weighed in on the death of George Floyd, the 46-year-old African American man who died after being pinned to the ground by a Minnesota police officer who had his knee on Floyd’s neck.
Trump tweeted Wednesday:
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….….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!
….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
Fox News reports White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday that President Trump was “very upset” when he saw the George Floyd video in Minnesota.
It was “egregious, appalling and tragic,” McEnany continued. “He wants justice to be served.” She said that the video prompted Trump to “pick up the phone” while aboard Air Force One and ask the FBI to expedite its investigation.
The press secretary added that at the time of her briefing the president was being briefed on the situation by Attorney General Bill Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Floyd, 46, was pronounced dead Monday night after he was pinned to the ground by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Chauvin, along with three other police officers involved in the incident, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, were fired from the force Tuesday, hours after a bystander’s video showed Chauvin kneeling on the handcuffed man’s neck, even after he pleaded that he could not breathe and stopped moving.
Trump announced Wednesday night that he had ordered the FBI and the DOJ to investigate the killing, calling it a “very sad and tragic death.”
Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer caught on camera kneeling on the neck of George Floyd as he gasped for air, has been the subject of a 10 conduct complaints and three police shootings that led to no disciplinary action during his 19 years on the job.
Tou Thao, the second officer seen in the video, also has a checkered past that includes allegations of police brutality and a lawsuit.
Together, the men have more than a dozen complaints that have never resulted in any formal reprimands.
Chauvin, an officer who had been praised for valor during his time on the Minneapolis Police Department, was fired from the force on Tuesday along with three other officers involved in the incident: Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng.