‘If you can say you can’t breathe, you’re breathing’: Mississippi mayor faces backlash over George Floyd comments

A mayor in Mississippi is going through fierce backlash and calls to resign after saying that he “didn’t see anything unreasonable” in regards to the dying of George Floyd.

Mr Floyd, who was black, died whereas in police custody in Minneapolis after a white officer was filmed pinned him to the bottom by his neck for a protracted time period.

Outrage over the 46-year-old’s dying escalated when a video displaying the incident unfold was posted on-line. In the footage, Floyd can be heard saying “I can’t breathe” to officers a number of occasions.

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Hal Marx, the mayor of Petal, a metropolis close to Jackson, voiced his opinion on the incident on Twitter on Tuesday, saying he “didn’t see anything unreasonable” and “if you can say you can’t breathe, you’re breathing.”

“Most likely that man died of overdose or heart attack. Video doesn’t show his resistance that got him in that position. Police being crucified”, Mr Marx added.

Four law enforcement officials had been fired on Tuesday in reference to the arrest. Derek Chauvin, the previous officer who held Mr Floyd to the bottom, was charged with third-degree homicide and manslaughter on Friday,

The dying has prompted widespread unrest and protests throughout the US and specifically Minneapolis, the place riots that stemmed from an initially peaceable Black Lives Matter protest have continued for 2 days.

The mayor’s comments had been met with fierce backlash. Mr Marx has since deactivated his Twitter account.

“You know as a former resident of Petal … this is truly disturbing to see. To know that a leader of community feels right even posting this..”, Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Javon Patterson said on Twitter.

“Accountability must come into effect for Hal Marx,” mentioned Bobby Sims Jr, a pastor from a close-by metropolis, at a protest over the Mayor’s comments covered by WDAM-TV.

Mr Marx later told The Hattiesburg American that the comments had been misinterpreted.

“I think that people are so quick to judge the police before they have all the facts,” he mentioned.

“I can’t say whether a crime was committed or whether they did anything right or wrong, all I’m saying is don’t rush to judgment based on what you see in that video”, he informed the newspaper.

The mayor additionally reportedly defended his comments on Facebook.

“The tolerant progressives can’t tolerate a simple statement of fact and a request not to rush to judgment,” a publish made beneath his identify learn, according to screenshots taken by NBC affiliate WLBT.

The City of Petal acknowledged the mayor’s Facebook comments in their own post on Thursday, saying that whereas they weren’t consultant of their metropolis leaders, the mayor had a proper to publish them on his private account.

“The comments made on Mayor Hal Marx’s personal Facebook page are not representative of all of our city leaders. We understand the frustrations his statements have caused”, they wrote.

“Those comments are his personal views and he has the right to share his views on his personal page.”

The Petal Board of Aldermen held a particular assembly on Thursday, voting unanimously to ask for Marx’s resignation, The Clarion Ledger reported.

However, the mayor who was first elected in 2009, refused, and elected officers in Mississippi can solely be faraway from workplace in the event that they’ve dedicated felonies.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

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