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Omar condemns use of rubber bullets, tear gas on crowds at George Floyd protest

Greg Nash

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Wednesday condemned law enforcement for the use of rubber bullets and tear gas on crowds in Minneapolis that were protesting the death of George Floyd on Tuesday evening.

“Shooting rubber bullets and tear gas at unarmed protesters when there are children present should never be tolerated. Ever,” Omar tweeted Wednesday morning. “What is happening tonight in our city is shameful. Police need to exercise restraint, and our community needs space to heal.”

Protesters marched through the streets of Minneapolis’s Powderhorn neighborhood Tuesday, the day after Floyd died shortly after being arrested there. Video of the incident shows an officer pressing down on the back of Floyd’s neck with his knee while Floyd says he can’t breathe. The officer appears to continue pressing down even after Floyd is unconscious. 

Demonstrators reportedly smashed the windows of the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct. They were met by officers in riot gear who shot tear gas and rubber bullets at them.

The video of the officer choking Floyd quickly went viral, sparking national outrage.

The four Minneapolis police officers who were involved in Floyd’s death were fired Tuesday.

“This is the right call,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) tweeted immediately after the termination announcement.

“Being black in America should not be a death sentence,” Frey said during a news conference. “For five minutes, we watched as a white officer pressed his knee to the neck of a black man. For five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, you are supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic human sense.”

The Minneapolis Police Department said that Floyd was being detained Monday evening after the officers responded to a report of a forgery at the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South.

On Tuesday, the department confirmed that the FBI would be part of the investigation into the arrest and subsequent death.

Omar wasn’t the only Minnesota lawmaker to condemn Floyd’s death.

“We heard his repeated calls for help,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) said in a statement calling for an outside investigation. “We heard him say over and over again that he could not breathe. And now we have seen yet another horrifying and gut wrenching instance of an African American man dying.” 

The “lack of humanity in this disturbing video is sickening,” Gov. Tim Walz (D) said, adding that “we will get answers and seek justice.”

On Wednesday, Floyd’s sister, Bridgett Floyd, called for the officers involved in the arrest to be charged with murder.

Tags Amy Klobuchar George Floyd George Floyd death Ilhan Omar Ilhan Omar Minneapolis Minneapolis Police Department Minnesota Minnesota Tim Walz
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