Images and video shared online show Denzel Washington assisting a homeless man who was being detained by officers in West Hollywood, California to ensure the incident did not escalate.
Over the weekend, Washington saw the homeless man in the street and pulled his car over. Washington then got the man safely onto the sidewalk and calmed him down. Witnesses said they’re not sure who called the police put the actor stayed with the man until he was safely in the back of the police car.
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So, apparently #DenzelWashington saw a commotion on the streets of West Hollywood with cops and an unarmed distressed homeless man. He gets out of his car, and serves as a barrier between what could have likely ended up in a fatality. He got the man some food and drink and calmed him. Police were able to arrest him without incident. This is how you use your celebrity. #salute💯 #whatcape
Many reshared the video, praising the Academy-Award winning actor for his courage and for being his “brother’s keeper.” One Twitter user writing, “#DenzelWashington needs to be trending. What he did for the homeless man is what WE ALL need to do for OUR brothers and sisters out here.”
Emery Mack Varrie II said, “This is how you use your celebrity.”
Too many times have we seen Black men, homeless or in their front yard, be brutalized and dehumanized by the police. Often officers do not take Black people’s mental state or humanity into consideration before “fearing for their life.”
It’s unclear exactly what was going on with the homeless man but he appeared to be in distress. According to officers on the scene, Washington gave the man some masks and some food as he continued to deescalate the situation.
Reporters at London Entertainment spoke briefly with an officer at the scene:
[VIDEO] No Arrests After George Floyd Protests Shut Down Freeway In Downtown LA
[VIDEO] Black Man Dies After Officer Kneeled On His Neck For Over 7 Minutes!
Frightening video shows a Minneapolis officer arresting a Black man and then pressing his knee into his neck for at least seven minutes. The FBI is now investigating the incident after the man’s tragic death.
In a statement early Tuesday, MPD police said the death was due to a medical incident. However, a video shared online by Darnella Frazier shows an officer putting his knee on the back of the man’s neck and putting his full weight on him for at least seven minutes. Before going unconscious, the unarmed Black man told the officers he could not breathe.
***Warning: This video contains graphic content and may be upsetting to some people***
The video has since been reshared dozens of times. During a press conference Tuesday morning, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey addressed the graphic video calling it “wrong at every level.” He added: “Being black in America should not be a death sentence.”
Frey went on to say that no matter what the investigation finds, “it does not change the simple truth, he should still be with us today.”
“To our Black community, to the family: I’m so sorry,” Frey said at the press conference. (read his full remarks below)
Officers were called to the scene because the man allegedly tried to use forged documents at a grocery store. When they arrived, the man was in his car and appeared to be intoxicated.
“After he got out, he physically resisted officers,” police spokesman John Elder told media. “Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and officers noticed that the man was going into medical distress.”
The family’s attorney says the man in the video is George Floyd.
Bystanders call the police alerting them that they are cutting off Floyd’s air supply.
Roughly five minutes into the recording, it appears Floyd goes unconscious. Still, the officer does not release his knee until medical professionals arrived.
The ambulance arrived but Floyd died later in the hospital. An autopsy report has not been released to the public. But information from that autopsy may bring the Floyd family some sense of accountability and justice.
Folks online have also mentioned that Minneapolis police policy bans chokeholds.
All of the officers at that scene need to be arrested for murder.
— Angie Carciofini (@acarciofini) May 26, 2020
The two officers involved have been relieved of duty with pay.
Mayor Frey’s statement to the family and the public:
— Mayor Jacob Frey (@MayorFrey) May 26, 2020
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter tweeted:
The video of a Minneapolis police officer killing a defenseless, handcuffed man is 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. This must stop now.
— Mayor Melvin Carter (@MayorCarter) May 26, 2020
Mayor of San Antonion emphasized the illegality of the arrest:
Chokeholds are banned under Minneapolis police policy—yet this officer didn’t hesitate to crush a man’s windpipe with his knee.
If officers aren’t held accountable for these incidents, they will keep happening. We need reform NOW. https://t.co/rWn1B3m4Xe
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) May 26, 2020