Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday called the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis cops “frightening” and said the killing was absolutely a “criminal case.”
“If I was a prosecutor, I would look at the car from the first moment,” said Cuomo — a former state attorney general and onetime prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office — during his daily coronavirus briefing.
“There is a criminal case there.”
He linked the incident to the 2014 police choke-hold death of Eric Garner on Staten Island, adding that “incidents like this should never happen anywhere in this country.”
“Some people try to justify it by saying, ‘Well, we can learn from this,’” the governor said. “But how many times do we have to learn?”
Floyd, 46, who is black, died after being pinned to the ground by a white Minneapolis police officer, who ignored his pleas that he couldn’t breathe.
The case has sparked national outrage and two nights of protests in Minneapolis — some violent.
Mayor Jacob Frey this week fired all four cops at the scene and call for the arrest of Police Officer Derek Chauvin, the cop shown on viral video with his knee to Floyd’s neck.
Frey asked Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to charge Chauvin.
A spokesman for the office said it is working with state authorities and the county coroner “to expeditiously gather and review all of the evidence in the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd.”
“The videotaped death of Mr. Floyd, which has outraged us and people across the country, deserve the best we can give and that is what this office will do.”