The now-fired Minneapolis cop who pressed his knee against George Floyd’s neck in a deadly arrest that was caught on camera this week “enjoyed doing what he was doing” and was determined to kill someone that day, an outraged Rep. Maxine Waters said in an interview posted Thursday.
“I believe sometimes some of these officers leave home thinking, ‘I’m going to get me one today.’ And I think this is his one,” she told TMZ.
“He didn’t care whether or not anybody was photographing him,” she said. “He did what he was doing and the officers who stood there and watched him are just as guilty as he is.”
The white officer, Derek Chauvin, blatantly ignored Floyd’s repeated pleas that he couldn’t breathe and continued pinning the handcuffed black man to the ground for more than five minutes on Monday.
Chauvin and three of his colleagues, all of whom were fired on Tuesday, also ignored multiple bystanders who were begging them for mercy in a horrific display of police brutality that has shocked the country and caused violent protests in Minneapolis.
Floyd, a 46-year-old father of two who was being questioned for allegedly passing out a counterfeit bill, was pronounced dead shortly after the incident.
The city’s mayor, Floyd’s family and numerous politicians and activists have called for the officers to be jailed, but state and federal authorities are still trying to determine whether to file charges.
The case has renewed national outrage against the treatment of black men by police, drawing comparisons to the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner, the black New Yorker who died after repeatedly screaming, “I can’t breathe,” during an arrest on Staten Island.
Waters, who represents parts of Los Angeles County in California, noted that Floyd was not resisting arrest and was lying face down on the pavement when Chauvin brutally locked his knee deep into the man’s neck.
“If in fact you have subdued a suspect and you’re not in any danger at all because the handcuffs are on him, there is no reason for the police to do what these police did,” she told TMZ.
The Democratic lawmaker said she fears the justice system will find a way to “protect those officers,” perhaps by ruling it a justifiable homicide.
In Garner’s case, NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo was investigated by multiple agencies for about half a decade, but he was never charged and only lost his job last year.
“That’s what we’ve got to deal with it,” Waters said. “We’ve got to deal with the fact that we’re in America with a justice system that does not work for everybody.”
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