Former officer reacts to Minneapolis Police policy that allows neck restraint

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

In the now-viral video of Floyd’s death, viewers watch as Chauvin put his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than 8 minutes as Floyd tells the officer and gathering crowd he can’t breathe.

FOX13 looked at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Use of Force Policy and found that “neck restraint” is included as an option available to officers, then spoke to several current and former officers who said none of them were ever trained to use a move like that to subdue a citizen.

One said, in 20 years of law enforcement, he’d never heard of such a thing being included in a policy.

Bennie Cobb is a retired Shelby County Sheriff’s Department Captain.

“He was already restrained. He was already handcuffed. Using that particular procedure was not necessary, was unheard of, and shouldn’t have been used,” Cobb told FOX13.

Many of Cobb’s 30 years on the force were spent in training. FOX13 asked him what he thought about the discovery that the restraint used in the death of George Floyd was allowed by the Minneapolis Police Department’s Policy.

“I was so surprised that I reached out to several of my buddies who have been in training divisions, who have helped write policy, and they sent me their responses that that was unheard of. They were appalled that policy even existed,” Cobb said.

According to the indictment against Officer Derek Chauvin, George Floyd was resisting arrest prior to being placed in the “neck restraint.”

The policy says the tactic can be used against someone resisting arrest. However, officers are trained to go from 0-100 and back down to 0 once the situation has calmed.

As we all saw in the video, Floyd was held in that position for more than 8 minutes.

“It’s very dangerous operating around the neck, even using a chokehold, which you need to be trained to do,” Cobb said.

Because the tactic is in the policy, Cobb told FOX13 he’s confident that will be the officer’s defense.

Cobb also said he is proud to see law enforcement breaking the so-called code of silence to call out Chauvin’s behavior.

“They’ve been waiting for the law enforcement community, the good cops, to come out and denounce bad cops. Clearly this was a bad cop,” said Cobb.

The Memphis Police Department said their policy does not allow for neck restraints.

When it comes to The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, they said their policy also prohibits neck restraints.