Days after the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, resulting from the brutal knee-to-neck technique adopted by sacked Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officer Derek Chauvin, a Seattle policeman was seen using the same procedure to pin down a protester during demonstrations outside a T-Mobile store in downtown Seattle.
The initial video released after Floyd's death revealed how Chauvin refused to remove his knee from Floyd's neck despite him pleading, "I can't breathe". Chauvin continued to place his knee on Floyd's neck for a full eight minutes, finally resulting in his death. Since his death, the US has seen a widespread emergence of protests demanding justice for Floyd under the banner 'Black Live Matter'.
Colleague Removes Oficer's Knee From Protester's Neck
In the video, which has gone viral on Twitter with 7.4 million views, two unnamed policemen pinned down a fleeing protester wearing an orange-colored hoodie, outside a T-Mobile store. After pushing the protester to the ground, one of the officers placed his right knee on the protester's neck while the other proceeded to restrain him using handcuffs.
In the video shared by journalist Matt McKnight, a number of protesters could be seen shouting at the officers. "Get your fucking knee off his neck," one of the bystanders could be heard shouting.
After about 13-seconds, the other officer could be seen grabbing his colleague's knee and dragging it away from the protester's neck. According to McKnight, the police responded after receiving a report of looting at the T-Mobile store.
The Independent reported that more footage appeared to show the same officer pressing a knee into the necks of other suspected looters as police responded to the unrest. "Several seconds before the confrontation between the officer and the man in the orange sweatshirt, the same cop appeared to be kneeling on the neck of another suspected looter while assisting with an arrest," the report stated.
Senior Officers Condemn the Use of Knee-to-Neck Restraining Technique
Condemning George Floyd's death, several high positioned cops maintained that the choking technique using the knee to pin down the neck is not part of the training.
Speaking to Fox News Sunday, the head of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police, Andy Skoogman, said that policemen in the state are not trained to use the technique. "I think there's a national narrative that police officers in Minnesota are being trained in the technique that Derek Chauvin used and that is simply not the case, it is the furthest from the truth that exists," he said.
Lancaster Police Chief Jarrad Berkihiser told Penn LIVE: "I began my law enforcement career in 1989 in the military so I have been a police officer for over 30 years. What you are seeing in the video has never been taught in any training related to use-of-force or defensive tactics."
In a tweet, Police Chief David Roddy of Chattanooga, Tennesse, wrote: "There is no need to see more video. There is no need to wait to see how 'it plays out. There is no need to put a knee on someone's neck for NINE minutes. There IS a need to DO something. If you wear a badge and you don't have an issue with this ... turn it in."