TEXAS -- A handful of Texas police chiefs have taken to social media to condemn the actions of four Minneapolis police officers prior to the death of Houston native George Floyd.
A bystander’s camera was rolling Monday as one of the officers kneeled on 46-year-old Floyd’s neck for several minutes. Floyd was handcuffed and pleaded that he could not breathe before he stopped moving. He later died in police custody.
Floyd had been identified as a suspect in a forgery case at a Minneapolis grocery store.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Floyd was born in North Carolina and moved to Houston as a baby. He had been part of a hip-hop group there before relocating to Minneapolis.
Floyd’s family members on Tuesday night attended a prayer vigil in Houston’s Emancipation Park.
The four officers involved in Floyd’s arrest were fired Tuesday, and the case is under investigation by the FBI and state law enforcement. It has garnered national headlines and is similar to the case of Eric Garner, a black man who died in 2014 after being placed in a chokehold by a New York police officer. Garner also stated he couldn’t breathe.
Several Texas police chiefs have taken to Twitter to offer condolences and condemn the actions that presumably led to Floyd’s death. Houston Chief of Police Art Acevedo wrote, in part: “... we strongly condemn the actions that led to the death of #GeorgeFloyd and stand with [Minneapolis Police] Chief [Medaria] Arrandondo and good police officers throughout our nation.”
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley on Wednesday wrote the following:
“This is heart wrenching and we must be better than this or these senseless deaths will continue to occur. #GeorgeFloyd was telling officers he could not breathe but to no avail. As law enforcement professionals, we must do better in service to our communities.”
Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks expressed similar sentiments:
“We in law enforcement CAN’T look at the George Floyd case and turn a blind eye! There is NO justification for these actions! We MUST hold officers accountable for atrocious decisions!”
Univeristy of Texas at Austin Police Department Chief David Carter wrote the following:
"I sadly must again address my officers and ask how they felt about the unlawful homicide of George Floyd, an American citizen In Minneapolis. Police leaders must confront the failures of our profession or we are doomed to repeat them and cast further doubt on our legitimacy."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.