SAINT PAUL, MN— Today, after a video surfaced of an incident involving a white Minneapolis police officer ended in the death of a black resident, Senators Jeff Hayden and Bobby Joe Champion released the following statements.
“We all woke up to the horrific images of a Black man pleading for his life while being held down by a Minneapolis police officer. As a Black man in America, this inhumane act is unfortunately all too familiar. We must hold these officers accountable for their actions,” said Assistant Minority Leader Senator Jeff Hayden. “Every Minnesotan should feel safe in their community and across the state—regardless of what they look like, and this tragedy leaves our entire community in grief.”
“I’m saddened by this senseless act of violence against a member of our community. My heart and prayers go out to his family. As an African American father, husband, and son, it is terrifying that Black men face the highest risk of being killed by police. I empathize and share the family’s anger because of this tragic loss,” said Senator Bobby Joe Champion. “Restraining someone is one thing but holding a man down while he is pleading to breathe takes this to an unacceptable level. We, as a society and- much more specifically- Minneapolis residents, must do more than talk about race and police brutality, we have to take bold actions to increase the accountability of the Minneapolis police Department as they need to better understand the value and importance of the communities they are meant to serve.”
The incident took place on the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South and was video recorded by a bystander. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Governor Tim Walz have both called for further investigation of the incident, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) are investigating.