The video of a now-former Minneapolis police officer kneeling on George Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes before Floyd lost consciousness and died is bringing new scrutiny to police training. In particular, there are questions about whether such a restraint technique is even a legitimate police tactic.
The answer appears to be no. "It is completely outside the industry standards, and quite honestly it is far from the norm from what we train police officers to do on a daily basis," says Dr. Alex del Carmen, criminology professor at Tarleton State University. "What is particularly disturbing about this (incident) is that (Floyd) was in handcuffs, on the ground, belly-down, and they were still applying force on him...that is simply outside the norm and not what we teach police officers."
Dr. del Carmen tells KTRH this incident only makes the job more difficult for the vast majority of police officers who do things the right way. "I think this person has made every police officer, every decent person out there look awful," he says. "And I think he has set up back 10 to 15 to maybe 20 years, on some of the progress that law enforcement has made with the community at large."
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo hasn't commented officially about the technique used against Floyd, but based on a viral video of Acevedo talking to protesters, he obviously doesn't condone it. "How do you keep a knee on a man's neck who is calling out for his mama," asked Acevedo. "I don't care if he has dope in his system...you know what the cure is for that...treatment!"
The Harris County Sheriff's Office sent a brief statement to KTRH, saying "the restraint technique depicted on the George Floyd arrest video is prohibited under Sheriff’s Office policy."