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A man protesting near the area where a Minneapolis Police Department officer allegedly killed George Floyd. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI will investigate the death of a black man for possible civil rights violations after video emerged of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the man's neck for several minutes, ignoring protests that he couldn't breathe, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

The latest: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey tweeted Tuesday afternoon that four officers involved in the incident have been terminated. "This is the right call," he added.

The big picture: The man, identified as George Floyd, was being arrested for alleged forgery and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to a police press conference Monday night. Police say he resisted arrest before suffering from “medical distress."

What we know: The event was caught on video by a bystander Monday evening. Several times during the arrest, Floyd said, "I can't breathe." Five minutes into the video, the suspect appears to be motionless with the officer's knee still pinning down his neck.

  • An ambulance arrived and his vital signs were checked with the officer's knee still on Floyd's neck, according to the video. He was loaded onto a stretcher and taken to a hospital. Floyd died "a short time later," police said.
  • John Elder, the police spokesman, told the Tribune that the technique used was not a department-authorized chokehold.
  • Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Tuesday that he “deemed necessary to contact the special agent in charge of the Minneapolis bureau of the FBI” upon receiving more information after the arrest.

Why it matters: Minneapolis police kill black people at a rate 13 times higher than white people — one of the largest racial disparities in the U.S., according to U.S. crime data collected from mappingpoliceviolence.org.

What they're saying:

  • Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey: “Being black in America should not be a death sentence. For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a black man’s neck. Five minutes. When year hear someone calling for help, you’re supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic, human sense. What happened on Chicago and 38th last night is awful. It was traumatic. It serves as a reminder of how far we have to go.”
  • Floyd's family attorney Benjamin Crump: “We all watched the horrific death of George Floyd on video as witnesses begged the police officer to take him to the police car and get off his neck. This abusive, excessive and inhumane use of force cost the life of a man who was being detained by the police for questioning about a nonviolent charge.”

Go deeper: Two men charged with murder in death of Ahmaud Arbery

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the news that four officers involved in the incident have been fired.

Go deeper

Biden says he spoke with Jacob Blake by phone for 15 minutes

Former VP Joe Biden arriving in Wisconsin. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Image

Joe Biden spoke with Jacob Blake by phone on Thursday for 15 minutes during a private meeting with Blake's family in Wisconsin.

Driving the news: This was Biden's third time out on the campaign trail this week — the former VP has largely stuck to virtual events until now. He spent most of his time in Wisconsin listening to residents about their concerns and hopes for the way forward as the community reels from Blake's shooting.

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after sheltering with maskless colleagues during last week's deadly Capitol riot. But he did not specify whether his diagnosis was connected to the siege.