U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald and Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman on Thursday asked for the public to remain calm as they investigate the death of George Floyd.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Monday in Minneapolis after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes. The incident was recorded, and Floyd is heard saying, "I can't breathe." The four officers involved in the incident were fired on Tuesday, and Freeman told CNN all have invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
MacDonald and Freeman held a joint press conference, which started about two hours late. MacDonald said they "thought we would have another development I could tell you about. Unfortunately, we don't at this point." Both her office and the FBI are conducting a "robust and meticulous investigation," she said, adding that their "highest priority is that justice will be served."
Freeman said his job is to prove the officer who kneeled on Floyd "violated a criminal statute. And there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge. We need to wade through all of that evidence and come to a meaningful decision, and we are doing that to the best of our ability." He called the video showing the incident "graphic, horrific, and terrible," and asked the public to understand the need to remain calm as the investigation continues. "Sometimes that takes a little time, and we ask people to be patient," he said. "We have to get this right."