A Lee County Sheriff's Office deputy has been fired after telling a prisoner in his custody that he resembled George Floyd and then asked him to say, "I can't breathe."
USA Today reports that witness told investigators that they saw Deputy First Class Rodney Payne make the comparison between Floyd and an unidentified inmate this past July.
"The Sheriff's Office investigation found that Payne's supervisor immediately told the deputy to stop the comments, saying it was inappropriate," writes USA Today. "Several inmates also heard the remark and one filed a complaint via email, he said, because the targeted inmate was likely to not complain in fear of retaliation."
Floyd's death in 2020 sparked nationwide protests against police brutality after a video of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the back of Floyd's neck until he suffocated went viral on the internet.
Speaking with investigators, Payne acknowledged that his comments about Floyd were insensitive, and he acknowledged that his remarks violated police conduct policy.