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New York City mayor condemns Minneapolis officers in George Floyd killing

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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announces new rules for restaurants, bars, cafes to serve only take-out & delivery, movie theaters, gyms to close because of COVID-19 epidemic at City Hall.

Lev Radin | Pacific Press | LightRocket via Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned the four Minneapolis officers involved in the death of George Floyd, saying this “horrifying” situation cannot happen again. 

“I watched that video and my heart broke. It was … I could not believe the officer’s lack of concern, and it was horrifying, and it just can’t go on this way,” de Blasio said at a news briefing on Friday.

Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis, died Monday after a white police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest while ignoring Floyd’s pleas for help. A video that captured Floyd gasping and saying “I can’t breathe” set off a national outcry and led to violent protests in Minneapolis. The officers involved in the confrontation were fired, but no charges have been filed. 

On Thursday, de Blasio said in a tweet that Floyd was murdered and would still be alive if he were white.

De Blasio received some backlash on social media after urging that criminal charges be filed immediately against the police officers. The New York Police Department has also come under scrutiny for instances of police brutality. The officer who applied the fatal chokehold on Eric Garner in New York City in 2014 during de Blasio’s first year in office was removed from his job only five years later.

On Garner’s death, de Blasio said he’s been “really clear about the fact we made a mistake, I made a mistake in believing the U.S. Department of Justice would do its job, and I will be very blunt and clear about that. When the city took over there was due process, there was a trial, our police commissioner made a decision, it was the right decision.”

“The thing I feel very clearly in retrospect is we should’ve ignored the Department of Justice because what they did was unconscionable in not acting and just moved ahead and that’s what we’ll do from now on absolutely,” he said.

When asked whether Garner would be alive today if he were white, de Blasio said, “absolutely.”

Correction: This article was revised to recast the circumstances surrounding the Eric Garner case.

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