NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The Empire State Building went dark Monday to honor the memory of George Floyd one week after he died in police custody in Minneapolis, and to urge an end to the looting and violence that have marred peaceful protests which have gripped the city and nation since his death.
"The Empire State Building is dark tonight to recognize the tragic murder of George Floyd, injustice in all of its forms and all of its victims, and to urge an end to the damage to our great city and its people. There is enough loss and sorrow already," the landmark tweeted.
Floyd's death sparked days of protests in Minneapolis and across the country, including New York City, where officials imposed a curfew Monday in an effort to stem the violence unrest.
The 46-year-old Floyd, a black man, died after a now-fired white Minneapolis police officer held his knee on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes. Video showed the officer ignoring Floyd's repeated cries that he couldn't breathe and shouts from bystanders for him to get off the handcuffed man.
Two separate autopsy reports agree on what caused Floyd's death.
An independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd's family deemed his death a homicide, concluding that he died of asphyxiation due to neck and back compression.
In a news release, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office also classified the death a homicide Monday and said the “decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s)." The cause of death was listed as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.” According to the medical examiner, Floyd was also found to have artery and heart disease, and had traces of fentanyl and methamphetamine in his body — but those factors were not listed under cause of death.
The family's autopsy found Floyd had no underlying medical problems and was in good health.
The officer has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death. Three other officers on the scene were fired but have not been charged.