The death of George Floyd has sent shock waves across the country, with riots breaking out in several major cities. The focus of the anger is the technique used by Officer Derek Chauvin, a 19 year officer, was filmed holding Floyd on the ground with his knee to the back of his neck.
Experts we have talked to have all agreed that the technique is wrong and inappropriate, but the findings today have all of them shaking their heads in disbelief.
According to the Minneapolis Police Policy Manual, the restraint used was in policy and it also indicates that training is given to officers on the maneuver.
According to the policy, a neck restraint can be used as a form of a “non-deadly option” and is defined as “compressing one or both sides of a person’s neck with an arm or leg, without applying direct pressure to the trachea or airway (front of the neck).”
Chauvin was applying pressure to the back and side of the neck and not in the front and appeared to be compliant with existing policy.
The policy continues, “Only sworn employees who have received training from the MPD Training Unit are authorized to use neck restraints.”
Late Friday afternoon, the initial results of the autopsy showed that that Floyd’s death was not from strangulation or asphyxiation, which would have also indicated that the neck restraint did not cause the death of Floyd.
A year ago, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey made national news when he boldly banned any training that he deemed “warrior” in nature, a definition that he failed to define.
Earlier this week, Law Officer posed the question at what level the agency is given training in defensive tactics and today’s revelation sheds even more light on that concern.
One expert told us today, that “unless someone is fighting and actively resisting, there is never reason to apply pressure to the neck area.”
While it appears that the neck restraint did not cause the death of Floyd and was indeed a “non-lethal” application as the policy refers to, the outrage over the act will have many questioning the policies and training of the Minneapolis Police Department.
As another expert told us, “they should be questioned and one thing is now abundantly clear, much of the blame in regard to the use of the neck restraint is now placed directly on the leadership of the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department.”