As we near the start of the trial of the Minneapolis police officers accused of murdering George Floyd, it is essential that you understand that these officers are being railroaded and should be exonerated once the full evidence is presented. The four police officers now charged in the death of Floyd handled the situation according to the training they received by the Minneapolis Police Department. These officers were not going rogue nor were they engaging in racist misconduct. They followed procedure in handling Mr. Floyd. What they did not know is that George Floyd had just ingested a deadly dose of fentanyl. If you are part of the mob ready to lynch Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the “murder” of George Floyd, put your rope away. You are wrong. Officer Chauvin will be able to prove in court that his use of his knee on the side of the neck of Floyd was an approved technique that the Minneapolis Police Department trained him to use. There are two critical pieces of evidence for Officer Chauvin–the training manual for the Minneapolis Police Department Police Academy and unambiguous video evidence. Take a look at the training manual standard and procedure for using a neck restraint–it has been on the books for more than eight years. Don’t take my word for it, read it yourself:
5-311 USE OF NECK RESTRAINTS AND CHOKE HOLDS (10/16/02) (08/17/07) (10/01/10) (04/16/12) DEFINITIONS I. Choke Hold: Deadly force option. Defined as applying direct pressure on a person’s trachea or airway (front of the neck), blocking or obstructing the airway (04/16/12) Neck Restraint: Non-deadly force option. 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). Only sworn employees who have received training from the MPD Training Unit are authorized to use neck restraints. The MPD authorizes two types of neck restraints: Conscious Neck Restraint and Unconscious Neck Restraint. (04/16/12) Conscious Neck Restraint: The subject is placed in a neck restraint with intent to control, and not to render the subject unconscious, by only applying light to moderate pressure. (04/16/12) Unconscious Neck Restraint: The subject is placed in a neck restraint with the intention of rendering the person unconscious by applying adequate pressure. (04/16/12) PROCEDURES/REGULATIONS II. The Conscious Neck Restraint may be used against a subject who is actively resisting. (04/16/12) The Unconscious Neck Restraint shall only be applied in the following circumstances: (04/16/12) On a subject who is exhibiting active aggression, or; For life saving purposes, or; On a subject who is exhibiting active resistance in order to gain control of the subject; and if lesser attempts at control have been or would likely be ineffective. Neck restraints shall not be used against subjects who are passively resisting as defined by policy. (04/16/12) After Care Guidelines (04/16/12) After a neck restraint or choke hold has been used on a subject, sworn MPD employees shall keep them under close observation until they are released to medical or other law enforcement personnel. An officer who has used a neck restraint or choke hold shall inform individuals accepting custody of the subject, that the technique was used on the subject.
Now look at the video:
You need answer only one question–Did George Floyd “exhibit active aggression?” The video record of the incident is conclusive. Yes, Floyd exhibited active aggression. He repeatedly and physically refused to cooperate. Here is the results of the toxicology screen from his autopsy:
A. Blood drug and novel psychoactive substances screens:
Fentanyl 11 ng/mL
Norfentanyl 5.6 ng/mL
4-ANPP 0.65 ng/mL
Methamphetamine 19 ng/mL
11-Hydroxy Delta-9 THC 1.2 ng/mL;Delta-9 Carboxy THC 42 ng/mL; Delta-9 THC 2.9 ng/mL
With 11 nanograms per milliliter of Fentanyl in his blood, Floyd was a dead man walking or, in this case, laying on the ground.
The police, not George Floyd, are the victims. The vilification of the police over the George Floyd matter, not just in Minnesota, is an outrageous perversion of justice.
One final observation. It is not the job of street cops to change the training curriculum. That is the responsibility of the Police Chief and senior leadership. If they do not want officers to use a “neck restraint” then do not train them to use it. Very simple.