USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- More facts are surfacing in the George Floyd case. We need to step back, allow a critical examination of evidence, and allow the criminal justice system to be applied. As gun-activist regular AmmoLand News readers well know the effect emotional sensationalism can have on the aftermath of an event and the crisis that is never left to waste.
It is important to follow proper procedures, rules of evidence, allowing the defense to present its case and an adversarial examination at trial. Despite how much we are morally revolted by the initial video evidence it is irresponsible for national media figures to proclaim guilt before a trial is conducted or the defense is heard. Here are some reasons to withhold judgment.
Having studied self-defense doctrine, and having some familiarity with police policy, it was not surprising neck restraints are allowed by the Minneapolis Police Department.
Numerous people have claimed no police department allows neck restraints.
The Minneapolis Police Department explicitly allowed neck restraints, including the kind arguably used in the restraint of George Floyd.
Link to MPD policy [update MPD has now removed this page from their website but we have captured a screengrab above]
The policy says light pressure applied by the leg or arm, to the side of the neck, is allowed to restrain a person who is actively resisting arrest.
There is a video showing Floyd initially resisting arrest as he is taken from the car he was in. Two passengers come out of the passenger side and are not handcuffed. Here is a factual summation of the events leading up to the now-infamous video.
Floyd resists arrest. It takes two officers to remove him from the car. They handcuff him. One officer moves away, and Floyd appears to be somewhat impaired because he stumbles and slumps down next to the door. The officers treat him with care, rather gently it appears.
Floyd violently resisted the officers when they attempted to place him in the police vehicle, after some time where he is sitting, handcuffed next to the building. Video of that period has surfaced. Some claim it shows Floyd being beaten, inside the car. Prisoners must be restrained (in seat belts) inside of the car to be transported. Remember Fredy Gray in Baltimore, where police were criminally charged when Gray was not restrained and died in police custody. It is very difficult to place a struggling prisoner in a seat belt, especially if they are large and muscular.
There is at least one photo of three officers restraining Floyd on the ground. It appears it took three or four officers to subdue Floyd on the ground next to the police car, even though he was handcuffed. At about this time, the officers call an ambulance.
On the video showing the officer with a knee on Floyd's neck, one officer at the scene can be heard to say they attempted to place him in the vehicle for ten minutes. Without video, it is difficult to be certain of the timing. When in a violent struggle, a person's sense of time tends to change. The phenomena is called tachypsychia.
George Floyd was a very large, 6'4″, muscular man, weighing 223 lbs, with a violent rap sheet. The police did not move him from that location until the ambulance arrived.
Floyd appears to be resisting arrest for at the first four minutes of the video, where he is on the ground, and the officer has his leg on the back of the shoulders and the side of Floyd's neck. What is unclear is how much resistance Floyd put up over the entire time period.
The officer may convincingly argue that he was following department policy. The police had called an ambulance. The officers knew Floyd had medical issues, suspected drug involvement, and that an ambulance was on the way.
There are two minutes and 43 seconds after that where Floyd was not resisting. Those minutes will be the strongest argument the officer did not follow policy.
It cannot be determined, from the video, how much pressure was being applied to the neck. It has been argued there was little pressure and that there was strong pressure. The optics of the video look very bad, but they are not conclusive about how much pressure was applied.
Floyd repeatedly saying “I can't breathe” can be consistent with heart failure. We know it was not blockage of the airway. The blockage of one of the arteries to the brain is possible. The blockage of both is less likely. The fact Floyd could speak and move his head some amount indicates the pressure on his neck was not extreme.
Floyd saying “I can't breathe” is dramatic. It appears very bad in the video. It does not prove the officer's actions were the reason for the complaint.
All the evidence will be exhaustively examined at trial.
We do not know how many times the officer may have heard similar complaints from other suspects, attempting to manipulate him. The phrase gained a lot of “street cred” after the Eric Gardiner case resulted in a large payout.
The autopsy did not find any damage to the neck and did not find evidence of strangulation or asphyxiation. It found underlying problems with Floyd's heart and suspected drug involvement. This does not mean the pressure on Floyd's neck was inconsequential. It leaves room for doubt as to the cause of death.
The toxicology report in the autopsy shows Fentanyl at 11 ng/mL, Norfentanyl at 5.6 ng/mL, and Methamphetamine at 19 ng/mL. It does not show any alcohol in Floyd's blood. Lethal doses for Fentanyl, especially as part of a drug cocktail, show a wide variation.
What is needed is a careful examination of the evidence, due process, and the rule of law.
Here is a link with a detailed examination of evidence that has not been given much publicity.
It is as important for police officers to be afforded due process as it is for other criminal suspects to be afforded due process.
All of those things are destroyed by mob rule and the electronic lynching that is happening as I write. How are the officers to obtain a fair trial, when all the commentators are saying Floyd was murdered by the officers?
I have heard only one Commentator, Bill O'Reilly, correctly refer to Floyd's death, rather than to Floyd's killing or murder. The media routinely uses the word “alleged” for criminal suspects. The word is not being used for the police officers in this case.
I am not saying the officers charged are innocent. I am not saying the officers charged are guilty.
The purpose of this article is to record the details of the case. Due process and the unemotional application of justice is much more important than catering to politically motivated mob rule.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.