On Monday, 46-year-old George Floyd died shortly after being restrained by police officers in Minneapolis.
Per charging documents, after reviewing footage of Floyd's death, investigators concluded that the now-former cop Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for a total of nearly nine minutes.
Documents also state that Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck for two minutes and 43 seconds after Floyd had become non-responsive.
The 19-year veteran - along with three other officers present at the scene - was fired from his position in the police force, and Chauvin was later arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.More on Chauvin's arrest below:
Following Floyd's death, protests and riots have ensued across the US, as people called for justice for Floyd, a stop to police brutality, and for discrimination against black people to finally come to an end.
However, despite violence been seen in many cities across the country, one sheriff and his team have been praised for laying down their shields and batons and walking with protestors.
The incident was first highlighted on Twitter by Neil Hazel, who tweeted: "Flint Police just laid down their shields and batons and started walking with protestors."You can see the video below:
The moment was recorded by Mid-Michigan NOW journalist Ron Hilliard, and shows the moment Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson addresses protestors.
In the video, Swanson tells the crowd: "Don't think for a second that he [Derek Chauvin] represents what these cops are from all over the county and around the station. We go out there to help people, not do that nonsense.
"We want to be with y'all for real. I've took the helmet off, laid the batons down. I want to make this a parade, not a protest.
"You've got little ones here, you've got dogs."
He adds: "These cops love you. That cop over there hugs people. [...] You tell us what we need to do."
Within seconds, the crowd starts chanting to Swanson and his officers: "Walk with us", to which Swanson shouts back: "Let's walk!"
Swanson can then be seen joining the protestors, handing out hugs, high-fives, and even posing for photographs with them.
Per Michigan Live, Swanson later said:
"This is the way it’s supposed to be - the police working with the community. When we see injustice, we call it out on the police side and on the community side. All we had to do was talk to them, and now we’re walking with them.
"The cops in this community, we condemn what happened. [Chauvin] is not one of us."
The peaceful march in Flint Township started yesterday evening at around 6:00PM, with a small group of about eight people, but it quickly grew to hundreds.
But these officers are not the only individuals in the police force to condemn the actions of Chauvin.
A popular TikTok personality and police officer has recently spoken out on the platform, and said that all cops will now have to work harder to repair the damage that has been caused.
The officer - who works for the North Little Rock Police Department in Pulaski County, Arkansas - is known on the social media platform as @bakerfivetwo, and boasts over 150,000 followers.The officer's video can be seen below:
In a recent video, he says: "I've been a cop for 23 years, and watching the video of Mr. Floyd be pinned to the ground was one of the worst things I've seen."
He added: "His fellow officers stood there. They did nothing. Y'all took an oath. The same oath that eight hundred thousand of us have taken: to serve and protect our communities. Officers like this tarnish the badge. They tarnish the oath."
Now, officers across the country will have to "work harder to repair those relationships" in their own communities.
"Because it doesn't just affect one community," he explained. "It affects all of them. I hope y'all are charged accordingly."
The video has been viewed over 7.7 million times since being posted on the platform two days ago.
Several other police officers have also spoken out about Floyd's death on social media.
One Tennessee police chief has called for cops to hand in their badges if they agree with what they see in the footage of Floyd's arrest.
Chattanooga Chief of Police David Roddy shared his candid statement on Twitter, writing:
"There is no need to see more video. There no need to wait to see how “it plays out”. There is no need to put a knee on someone’s neck for NINE minutes. There IS a need to DO something. If you wear a badge and you don’t have an issue with this...turn it in."
Since posting the blunt statement on May 27, Chief Roddy's tweet has received over 620,000 likes and has been retweeted more than 159,000 times.
But despite being commended by many Twitter users, one person responded to Chief Roddy's tweet saying: "While I respect your viewpoint, it doesn’t work like that. People won’t resign for doing something they feel is acceptable practice.
"If you want this to stop, it’s up to you to find the people who accept this behavior and get them out of your department."
In addition, Polk County, Georgia, Sheriff Johnny Moats wrote on Facebook:
"I am deeply disturbed by the video of Mr. Floyd being murdered in the street with other officers there letting it go on. I can assure everyone, me or any of my deputies will never treat anyone like that as long as I’m Sheriff. This kind of brutality is terrible and it needs to stop. All Officers involved need to be arrested and charged immediately. Praying for the family."
Floyd’s family has since released a statement calling Chauvin's arrest a "welcome but overdue step on the road to justice” and added that members "expected a first-degree murder charge" - which they still demand.
"The pain that the black community feels over this murder and what it reflects about the treatment of black people in America is raw and spilling out on to streets across [the country]," the statement added.
The statement concluded by saying:
"Today, George Floyd's family is having to explain to his children why their father was executed by police on video. It's essential that the City closely examines and changes its policing policies and training procedures to correct for the lack of proper field supervision; the use of appropriate, non-lethal restraint techniques; the ability to recognize medical signs associated with the restriction of airflow, and the legal duty to seek emergency medical care and stop a civil rights violation."
Under Minnesota law, a first-degree murder charge would require prosecutors to prove Chauvin’s actions were willful and premeditated.
In a press conference early on Tuesday, Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey offered his condolences to Floyd's family, adding that "what we saw [in the video] was horrible, completely and utterly messed up".Watch Mayor Jacob Frey's emotional response below:
"For five minutes, we watched as a white officer pressed his knee to the neck of a black man," Frey told reporters.
"When you hear someone calling for help, you are supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic human sense. What happened on Chicago and 38th this last night is simply awful. It was traumatic and it serves as a clear reminder of just how far we have to go."
"Being black in America," Frey said, should not be "a death sentence."