Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on man's in-custody death: 'This man should not have died'

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter has also spoken out about the man's death.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has said "being black in America should not be a death sentence," in response to a video showing man who later died being held to the ground with a police officer's knee on his neck while he was handcuffed.

In a press briefing early Tuesday morning, the mayor described the video showing the as-yet unnamed man's death as "traumatic" and "messed up."

Police were called to a report of a forgery in progress at 38th and Chicago, near the Cup Foods convenience store, and claims the man got into an altercation with officers. 

A live-streamed video shows a police officer putting his knee on the man's neck for several minutes while the man said: "Help, I can't breathe."

"For the better part of the night, I've been trying to find the words to describe what happened," Frey said. "All I keep coming back to is this: this man should not have died.

"What we saw is horrible. Completely and utterly messed up. The man's life matters, he matters. He was someone's son. Someone's family member. Someone's friend."

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Also reacting to the video is St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, who described police "killing a defenseless, handcuffed man" as "one of the most vile and heartbreaking images I’ve ever seen."

"The officer who stood guard is just as responsible as his partner; both must be held fully accountable," he added. "This must stop now."

Gov. Tim Walz provided a brief statement on Twitter, posting: "The lack of humanity in this disturbing video is sickening. We will get answers and seek justice."

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar described it as "yet another horrifying and gutwrenching instance of an African American man dying."

She has called for a complete and thorough investigation into what happened, adding: "Justice must be served for this man and his family, justice must be served for our community, and justice must be served for our country."

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