By SJA Jafri + Bureau Report
SAINT PAUL/ WASHINGTON: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will investigate the death of a black man in the US state of Minnesota after a video emerged showing a police officer kneeling on his neck.
In the footage, the man believed to be in his 40s is heard groaning and repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe” to the officer, who is white.
The Minneapolis Police Department said the officers had responded to a report of a forgery in progress.
It said the man died after a “medical incident” in a “police interaction”.
It is the latest accusation of US police brutality against African Americans. Recent high-profile cases include an officer in Maryland who ratally shot a man inside a patrol car.
The incident in Minneapolis on Monday evening began after officers located the man in his car, police said in a statement. They were told the man, who has not been identified, was “sitting on top of a blue car and appeared to be under the influence”.
After being ordered to step away from the vehicle, the man physically resisted officers, according to police. “Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress,” the statement added.
In the 10-minute video filmed by a witness, the man is kept on the ground by the officer and, at one point, says: “Don’t kill me”.
Witnesses urged the officer to take his knee off the man’s neck, noting that he was not moving. One says, “His nose is bleeding”, while another pleads, “Get off his neck.”
The man then appears motionless before he is put on a stretcher and into an ambulance.
Police said no weapons were used during the incident and that body camera footage had been handed to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the case. Two of the officers involved have been put on paid administrative leave.
After the video emerged, police said in a statement: “As additional information has been made available, it has been determined that the Federal Bureau of Investigations will be a part of this investigation.”