- Several protesters marched on the Strip on Thursday night to demonstrate George Floyd’s death.
- The black man was murdered in the Minneapolis police custody when a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes.
- Protests were more heated around the country as demonstrators denounced police violence against unarmed black Americans.
- Local officials have since released statements condemning the actions of the officers involved in the incident.
Protests Across the US
Thursday night was marked by dozens of Las Vegans joining protesters to demonstrate against George Floyd’s death. While in Minneapolis police custody, an officer knelt on Floyd’s neck until the black man became unresponsive.
The demonstrators gathered at MGM Grand a few minutes past 8 pm before marching to the substation of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on Mandalay Bay’s south.
As the protests blazed across the US, one precinct in the Minneapolis went up in flames. While the local demonstration was not as hot as the countrywide protests, those who gathered zealously expressed their denunciation of acts of police violence against unarmed blacks.
The Las Vegas protest ended a few minutes to 10 pm.
Condemning the Action
Statements from the Nevada Attorney General and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department condemned the Minneapolis police officers’ actions.
Sheriff Joe Lombardo referred to the incident as “deeply disturbing.”
Gov. Steve Sisolak’s Thursday night tweet said in part that “George Floyd should be alive today.” Moreover, the governor condemned “systematic racism” and thanked local law enforcement agencies all over Nevada for their bold statements that denounced the actions of the Minneapolis police officers who were involved in Floyd’s death.
According to a mobile phone video, Floyd told the officer who was kneeling on his neck that he wasn’t able to breathe.
Four police officers have since been sacked following the incident. This includes the officer who killed Floyd and three others who were at the scene. However, the officers are yet to be charged with criminal charges.
George Floyd passed on late Monday after an onlooker video revealed how he was pleading for air for many minutes while a white Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck. Floyd was handcuffed and lying on the ground when this happened.
Not the First Time
This is not the first time an incident of a similar type has happened in Las Vegas. In 2017, an unarmed 40-year-old black man named Tashii Brown was allegedly killed by a white police officer.
The officer responsible for Brown’s death, Kenneth Lopera, put him in a police chokehold. Apart from losing his job, Lopera was charged with involuntary manslaughter among other criminal charges. However, the defendant was acquitted after his lawyer and police union representatives proved that Brown died of methamphetamine intoxication and cardiac arrest.
A wrongful death and civil rights case by the federal government against Lopera and Sin City’s police is pending in the city.
Las Vegas police have been criticized before for using force and conducting shootings unlawfully. In 2012, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, a unit of the US Justice Department, reviewed the police service in the region and made changes based on findings and recommendations.