TEHRAN (Dispatches) – Iran on Wednesday strongly condemned police brutality in the U.S. amid fresh outcry over the killing of a handcuffed black man who died after a white officer knelt on his neck for several minutes.
George Floyd died in Minneapolis on Monday after being pinned down by a white officer despite yelling: "I cannot breathe.”
The killing reminded of Eric Garner, an unarmed New York man who died in 2014 after he was placed in a chokehold by police and pleaded for his life saying he couldn’t breathe. A grand jury later decided against indicting the officers involved, sparking protests around the country.
"6 yrs after ‘I can’t breathe’ pleas of Eric Garner, #GeorgeFloyd, another black man, dies after a cruel, inhumane arrest. It seems that U.S. #PoliceBrutality against blacks knows no boundaries. And as always, the response to calls for justice, is employing even more force,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a Twitter message.
Video shared online from a bystander showed a white officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck during his arrest.
Police have said the man, believed to be in his 40s, was ordered to step from his car but after he got out, he physically resisted officers.
"Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress,” police spokesman John Elder has said.
After being choked, the man was taken by ambulance to hospital where he died a short time later, police said.
Nekima Levy-Armstrong, a prominent local activist, said watching the footage that was shared on social media made her "sick to her stomach” and she said it’s another example of police brutality toward African American men, the Star Tribune reported.
On Tuesday, protesters took to the streets where Floyd died, with some chanting and carrying banners that read "I can’t breathe.”
Police-involved shootings and killings of unarmed black men in the hands of white police officers have led to mass protests across the country in recent years and the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Separately, Iran’s Foreign Ministry lashed out at the U.S. government for the belligerent policies that have killed 100,000 American soldiers and led to massive destruction and atrocities.
"Regretful that 100k American soldiers killed in battles waged because of U.S. leaders’ instrumental rationality & insatiable greed,” the ministry said in a post on its Twitter account on Tuesday.
"U.S. war machines have just led to killing, destruction, atrocities,” it said, adding that the time has come to stand against the "U.S. violence and warmongering as remembering millions of lost lives” on the Memorial Day.
Memorial Day, marked on May 25, is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring the military personnel who have died while serving in the U.S. armed forces.
America’s history of armed incursions is as old as the country, whose very foundation is owed to the deadly invasion of North American territories.
Across modern history, U.S. militarism has most notably been reflected in the Vietnam War (1955-1975), which is bitterly brought to the fore on the Memorial Day. Estimates of the fatalities resulting from the war go as high as 4.2 million people, including 58,209 U.S. forces.
In what has become the longest war in its history, the U.S. along with its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of a so-called war on terror. The invasion — which is still underway — toppled the Taliban regime but the Afghan group’s militancy remains resilient to this day. The chaos has also led to the rise of Daesh, the world’s most notorious terror outfit, in the Asian state.
According to the latest figures, over 2,400 U.S. military deaths have been recorded in the war, while over 20,000 American service members have been wounded.
More than 100,000 Afghans have also been killed or wounded since 2009, when the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan began documenting casualties.
Washington’s first major incursion in the Middle East came in the form of the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s in favor of Saudi Arabia. A decade afterwards, the U.S. began planting its jackboot far more firmly in the region by invading Iraq in 2003, a wholesale war that turned the country into a scene of rampant violence.
Nevertheless, Washington has never fallen short of finding excuses to militarily intervene in the region along with its allies
The most recent bout of U.S.-led operations in the Middle East came in 2014, when the United States and its allies began a military campaign in Iraq and Syria under the guise of uprooting Daesh, which had risen amid the chaos resulting from Washington’s own wars in the region.
Washington has, throughout its history, also been lending immense political and military support to the regional regimes that are responsible for killing and displacing tens of thousands of people in pursuit of their political agendas.