'Shame on America' - Rawlings reacts to George Floyd murder

'Shame on America' - Rawlings reacts to George Floyd murder

Former President Jerry John Rawlings says the death of a black man at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis is evidence of America's moral decline.

The former President in a tweet quizzed: "If some of these atrocities, especially from some white police officers against black citizens, cannot shock the American populace to see evidence of their own decline, what can?"

He continued: How can a police officer be the source of such cruel, violent death with his knee choking down a black man's neck till he is motionless? And why do these cruelties end up in farcical trials that see the evil culprits escape justice and capital punishment?! This is painful and sad.

"I implore every American citizen to watch the video. Shame on America, Shame on Americans".

He was reacting to the death of George Floyd, 46, who died on Monday. A viral video showed him gasping for breath as a white policeman knelt on his neck.

His death has sparked protests in Minnesota.

What happened to George Floyd?

Officers responding to reports of the use of counterfeit money approached Mr Floyd in his vehicle on Monday.

According to police, he was told to step away from the car, physically resisted officers and was handcuffed.

Video of the incident does not show how the confrontation started, but a white officer can be seen with his knee on Mr Floyd's neck, pinning him down.

Mr Floyd can be heard saying "please, I can't breathe" and "don't kill me".

The city has identified the four officers involved as Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng.

The Minneapolis Police Officers' Federation said the officers were co-operating with the investigation.

The Minnesota police handbook states that officers trained on how to compress the neck without applying direct pressure to the airway can use a knee under its use-of-force policy. This is regarded as a non-deadly-force option.