Chicago police officers will undergo mandatory training and are required to watch the controversial video of George Floyd and his fatal encounter with Minneapolis police, Chicago Police Superintendent George Brown said on Thursday.
In the video, George Floyd, a black man, died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck as he pleaded that he couldn't breathe, an act Brown described as “unacceptable actions of a police officer.”
Brown said he met with command staff Thursday morning to address the deadly incident with officers under their command.
“I have ordered mandatory training on positional asphyxiation to be completed by every officer throughout the Department by the end of each tour today,” Brown said in a statement. “I have also required officers to view the video of this incident.”
The video, taken by a bystander outside a south Minneapolis grocery store Monday night, showed an officer kneeling on a handcuffed Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving.
“We wanted to convey the message that will not be tolerated here in Chicago, period,” Brown said Thursday during the summer mobile unit press conference at McCormick Place. “It wont be. Not under my command”
Four officers were fired a day after George Floyd's death. Leaders and activists, including Minneapolis’ Mayor Jacob Fret have called for criminal charges to be filed against officer Derek Chauvin, the white policeman seen on video holding his knee on Floyd’s neck, actions Brown said are not reflective of police officers nationwide.
“Any officer who abuses their power or stands by and allows it to happen does not deserve to wear the badge, period,” Brown said in his statement.
Also on Thursday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the video hit close to home.
“Seeing the video of George Floyd dying on the ground, under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer… brought back Laquan McDonald into sharp focus,” the mayor said.
“Its been a painful reminder that while we have been focused on fighting this violence, we know our work and facing hard truths about Mr. Floyd and I think about my brothers and men in my family.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called in the National Guard on Thursday as looting broke out in St. Paul and Minneapolis braced for more violence after protests erupted in the neighboring cities.
St. Paul spokesman Steve Linders said authorities were dealing with unrest in roughly 20 different areas.
“Please stay home. Please do not come here to protest. Please keep the focus on George Floyd, on advancing our movement and on preventing this from ever happening again. We can all be in that fight together,” St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter tweeted.