Thursday the DOJ said that it has made the federal investigation into George Floyd’s death a “top priority” and assigned experienced prosecutors to investigate the killing of the Minneapolis black man by a white police officer.
It has also promised a “robust” probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as another night of protests, rioting, and looting gripped Minneapolis.
Floyd, 46, died Monday night after being handcuffed and 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.
On Wednesday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey demanded the arrest of Chauvin, the police officer seen on camera kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he struggled to breathe.
Frey also called for Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to “act on the evidence before him” and charge the “arresting officer” shown with his knee on Floyd.
“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?” Frey asked during a news conference. “If you had done it, or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now.”
The circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death have weighed on the city and has led in some cases to violence.
A man was found dead Wednesday night on a sidewalk. Police, who responded to the area of Bloomington and Lake Street at 9:25 p.m., said the initial call was a reported stabbing, but the wound turned out to be from a gunshot.
The man, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The Star Tribune reported local law enforcement officials were still working early Thursday after at least five people were struck by gunfire throughout the night.
In the case of the fatality, the newspaper reported it is believed the man was killed when the owner of a pawn shop opened fire on a man he believed was burglarizing his business.
A 59-year-old man is in custody in connection to Wednesday night’s fatal shooting, but the details of the case were “still being sorted out,” police spokesman John Elder told reporters.
He said the death is being investigated as a homicide.
Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, who urged calm, told FOX 9 there is an internal investigation as well an FBI investigation of Floyd’s death underway.
“Justice historically has never come to fruition through some of the acts we’re seeing tonight, whether it’s the looting, the damage to property or other things,” he said.