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REACTION: Gov. Walz and other officials speak on the death of George Floyd, Minneapolis protests

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -- State leaders spent a large portion of Wednesday's Minnesota Department of Health briefing talking about the investigation into the death of George Floyd, and the following protest reaction over the past few days.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz says, "When I was with you on Saturday I closed by wishing you a peaceful Memorial Day as we remembered those who died in service of our country. Unfortunately, Memorial Day in Minneapolis was anything but peaceful and neither was last night. Like so many Minnesotans and now so many people across the country and the world, I was shocked and horrified by the video of George Floyd's death."

He also addressed Minnesotans saying, "To all of those of you who are in pain, to those who are angry, to those who are afraid, I not only see you, I hear you, and I stand with you. We will get answers. We will seek justice. George Floyd didn't deserve to die, but George Floyd does deserve justice."

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan also joined the conference via video conference saying passionately that Minnesota must be better.

As a woman of color, she noted, "Some day when it's safe, we will all have the option of going back to 'normal,' but we must not let that happen. Normal, quote unquote, means that black and brown bodies are not safe. Normal was not working for us. We cannot get back to normal, we must get back to better."

Investigation next steps

Floyd's death is now under investigation. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) will report its findings, without recommendation, to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office. The FBI is also involved and looking at this as a civil rights case. Those findings will be reported to the U.S. Attorney's office for the district of Minnesota.

Public Safety Department Commissioner John Harrington said this will be a fair and thorough investigation after Walz forcefully said that there will be a swift and expeditious investigation leading to action against the four officers in the incident. Those officers have already been fired.

Harrington says, "This will not be an investigation where we will cut any corners, where we are going to miss any t's to be crossed any i's to be dotted we are going to make sure this investigation is done properly so that when we go to trial, if we go to trial, when we present this case to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office for prosecution and when the FBI presents this case to the U.S. Attorney for prosecution that all of the facts necessary for a charge will be there."

Harrington also noted the ongoing issue of people of color dying at the hands of law enforcement.

"There is so much pain in the community. The video from last night was just an example of that pain being expressed, the trauma being expressed and one of the recommendations we talked about is how do we heal a community? We spent one entire session just talking about healing the wounds the community has when someone they love, someone they treasure,someone they value is ripped from them," he added.

There is no timetable set for the conclusion of the investigation.

Zach Fuller

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