Floyd victim, a 46-year-old black man, continued to be grabbed by his knee after he said he could not breathe. The FBI is still investigating the incident while a wave of protests against police action is raging throughout the United States.
According to CNN, the kneading with the knee has been banned in many police agencies, but Minneapolis police allow officers to perform this action if the suspect resists or acts of aggression. However, Floyd was unarmed and was handcuffed as he was pinned to the ground.
Some law enforcement experts say this action is dangerous and unnecessary.
Seth Stoughton, an associate professor of law at the University of South Carolina, said that depending on the head position of the person being held and the weight of the knee user, this could cause serious injury.
Mr. Stoughton – co-author of “Assessing Police Use of Force” – pointed out three ways officers can inflict injury on suspects.
The first danger is that the suspect is held in a prone position, that is, face down while handcuffed in the back for a long time. This is a dangerous position because it can cause suffocation due to an inappropriate position.
When in this position, a person can breathe enough, but cannot breathe fully and thus will gradually become deprived of oxygen and unconscious.
Stoughton said police departments also emphasized that only one person could lie down on his stomach long enough to control it, and then the suspect needed to be changed to another position, such as forcing him to lie on his side, sitting or standing.
Another danger lies in the pressure placed on the suspect’s neck. A great amount of weight and weight from the person pressing on the suspect’s neck can cause fatal injury.
“Officers need to avoid pressing on the suspect’s neck or head; pressure in such a position can crack the claw and spine of the neck, depending on the position of the person,” Mr Stoughton said.
Finally, any officer performing such control should also monitor the suspect’s health. A long neck hold of the knee can lead to death.
The police are not trained
The Minneapolis police department allows officers to use two ancient methods of restraining a suspect, but only trained officers can use it.
Specifically, these two methods are: restraining the neck “alert” and controlling the neck “unconscious”. In particular, the first method is to apply slight pressure to the suspect’s neck with his hands or feet but not to block the airway of the suspect, while the latter method is to apply sufficient pressure to the suspect unconscious but not fatal.
Both can be used when the suspect resists, but the method of restraint is only allowed to be used when the suspect resists aggressively and cannot be overcome by other means.
However, the method the police use with Floyd is not the same as any of the above, Mr. Stoughton said.
“It is not controlling the neck. The police not only put pressure on other people’s necks. It is a very dangerous act,” he said.
According to Ms. Pruitt – female president of the National Association of Black Police, the use of force only happens when a person complies with the arrest warrant. Meanwhile, Mr. Floyd was handcuffed and lying on the ground. Force control is not required.
A few years ago, she asked members of the police department if they were trained to perform neck and knee knots. However, almost everyone denies this because of the high risk of serious injury.
“When a person says ‘I can’t breathe’, it is a medical emergency and needs immediate first aid. Because at that time, the suspect became a patient,” one said. experts say.
Currently, no forensic claim has been made regarding the cause of Floyd’s death. According to a fire department report, Floyd had no pulse and no reaction when being taken to an ambulance.
In addition, some people believe that the Minneapolí Police Department is using incorrect terms. Specifically, no control measures can be considered “non-fatal”, but rather “less likely to cause death”.
“Over the years, law enforcement teams have admitted that any form of control can be fatal – even for example, spraying too much tear gas,” an officer said.