Mayor of Petal, Mississippi, Hal Marx has suggested George Floyd is a liar and says the cops involved in his death are being ‘crucified’

White politician calls George Floyd a liar and says cops are being unfairly 'crucified'


A Mississippi mayor sparked outrage after suggesting George Floyd was lying about not being able to breathe and defending the cops involved in his death. Hal Marx, who is the mayor of Petal, responded to a tweet about the unarmed black man’s death in Minneapolis, writing: ‘If you are talking about the incident in MN, I didn’t see anything unreasonable.

‘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.’

Marx’s response, written Tuesday, was to another Twitter user who had responded to an initial, vaguer tweet he’d sent the same day saying: ‘Why in the world would anyone choose to become a police officer in our society today?’ The mayor took to Twitter the day after the death of Floyd. The 46 year-old security guard was filmed shouting ‘I can’t breathe’ while Minneapolis Police Department cop Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck.

Floyd, 46, died shortly afterwards. Chauvin and three other cops involved in his arrest have since been fired, with the FBI working to establish whether they can be charged over Floyd’s death.
Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin is pictured kneeling on George Floyd’s neck shortly before Floyd’s death. Chauvin’s behavior has sparked protests across the US (Picture: AP)

Marx has since tried to defend his comments, telling the Hattiesburg American that he was attempting to call for due process. He said: ‘I think that people are so quick to judge the police before they have all the facts.

‘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.

‘I’ve seen too many cases before where the police were judged to be guilty in the public’s eye but later were found to be not guilty under the law.

‘For sending that, all of a sudden I’m called racist, I need to have a knee put on my neck — all kinds of hateful stuff simply for having an opinion and asking people to get all the facts before they judge.’
A liquor store was torched in Minneapolis on Thursday night as riots sparked by the death of George Floyd continued (Picture: Getty)

Marx, a former teacher and journalist, has ignored calls to resign, and says he will serve out his term as mayor, which ends in July 2021.

But his defense cut no ice with Clarence Magee, from the local chapter of minority rights watchdog the NAACP, who called Marx’s comments ‘very troubling.’

Magee continued: ‘To hear that statement made by a mayor or anybody is very troubling.

‘What we saw was disgusting on the part of the officer. It leaves me with mixed emotions. Believing and thinking that we have not gone far enough in this day and time with social media and all that kind of stuff — nobody should condone that. Everybody should condemn it, including the mayor. Skin color had nothing to do with it.’

Floyd was arrested after a grocery store employee called police and accused him of trying to pass a $20 bill. His death has seen scores of businesses across Minneapolis torched and three nights of rioting.

President Trump weighed in on Friday morning by tweeting ‘When the looting starts, the shooting starts,’ with his comments subsequently hidden by Twitter for violating its terms of service.

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