A Mississippi mayor is facing intense criticism after he defended the Minneapolis police officers involved in the arrest of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after officers kneeled on his neck for up to 8 minutes.
Hal Marx, mayor of the city of Petal, tweeted his support for cops on Tuesday night, as protests over Floyd’s death raged.
“Why in the world would anyone choose to become a #PoliceOfficer in our society today? #backtheblue #ThinBlueLine,” Marx tweeted.
When Marx was criticized for his comments amid Floyd’s death, he responded with another tweet, saying he didn’t see anything “unreasonable” in the incident.
“If you are talking about the incident in MN, I didn’t see anything unreasonable,” Marx tweeted.
“If you can say you can’t breathe, you’re breathing. Most likely that man died of overdose or heart attack. Video doesn’t show his resistance that got him in that position. Police being crucified,” he added.
Video of Floyd laying face-down on the ground in handcuffs while Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck, has sparked public outrage and widespread protests.
Floyd said “I can’t breathe” multiple times in the video, but the officer did not move his knee until after he had gone limp and appeared to be unresponsive.
When an ambulance arrived on the scene, Floyd did not have a pulse.
The four officers involved in the incidents surrounding Floyd’s arrest were fired on Tuesday.
Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey has said that George Floyd was “killed because he is black” and that the “arresting officer killed someone.”