Federal sniper teams were reportedly authorised to use deadly force if there was signs of unrest at George Floyd’s burial.
Records obtained by Vice allegedly show that at least six ‘sniper teams’ were ready to shoot from nearby rooftops.
According to the documents the FBI were flying a surveillance aircraft over the ceremony to monitor for “agitators”.
The records, which Vice claim were labelled “highly confidential”, reportedly show that snipers were authorised to use deadly force if things spiralled out of control.
George Floyd’s death sparked an international movement after he was filmed begging a white police officer to get off his neck and repeatedly saying: “I can’t breath”.
With the eyes of the world on the burial and i the wake of nationwide protests – which in some instances turned violent – city records obtained by Vice show that law enforcement prepared for the worst case scenario.
Officials welcomed a large contingent of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents to the city, including dozens of members of the immigration agency’s militarised tactical unit.
According to Vice, the “rules of engagement” outlined in the document show that tactical units were “geared and ready to deploy” in response to “verbal aggressive language” by protesters.
If faced with behaviour that could cause imminent harm, the documents allegedly stated: “Deadly force is authorised anytime.”
Pearland city officials planned for up to 60,000 mourners but the final attendance numbered in the hundreds.
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Around 7,000 people visited Floyd’s casket in Houston.
Ben Crump, an attorney for the Floyd family, told Vice the family was not made aware of the presence of sniper units.
The officers were also described as being "station for a quick response to riot and looting" and said that the team could "take up positions around Pearland PD to prevent property loss or damage" if "non-peaceful protesting" occurred.
National Guard soldiers were also involved on "ready posture as last line of defence."
Joshua Lee, the city's spokesperson, told Vice the presence of the agents was "initiated by request of our [police] department."
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Lee said: “The mission of all personnel was to provide a safe environment for the Floyd family to conduct their service in peace.
"Just because nothing happened doesn't mean there weren't credible threats, we plan for a variety of potential outcomes to be as prepared as possible."
The total cost to the city of Pearland for Floyd’s burial was over $326,000 with most of the money covering overtime pay for police officers, according to reports.
Floyd’s death sparked international protests both peaceful and otherwise.
Floyd died on May 25 after former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes in a shocking incident that was captured on video.
Whilst laying on the pavement, Floyd told the officer he couldn’t breathed and begged him to release him.
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