Officer's mindset, tactics should have changed when...Floyd went from 'man resisting' to 'man down'

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  1. RussP

    RussP Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm going to paste the section headers and one or two sentences. The 'rest of the story' is at the link...

    Officer's mindset, tactics should have changed when George Floyd went from 'man resisting' to 'man down'

    As this incident leads the news, it is imperative we identify lessons we can apply to training, policy and community relations

    What happened: Four Minneapolis police officers were fired Tuesday afternoon by Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo for their actions or inactions in the May 25 arrest and death of George Floyd, 46. It is reported that officers were dispatched to a forgery in progress, found Floyd in the driver’s seat of a vehicle and that Floyd resisted arrest...

    Why it’s significant: Tuesday evening was the first of what could be many nights of protests in Minneapolis and beyond that will put officers, civilians and property at risk of harm...

    Top takeaways: Only a few people have a full accounting of what happened Monday evening. The quick firing of the four officers, without a thorough identification and investigation of evidence, might have been warranted, but it also might prevent the department from interviewing the officers to identify any gaps in policy, training and supervision that led up to the incident...

    1. The “full story” is a mirage

    The admonitions of “wait for all the facts” or “don’t rush to judgment” encourage us and others to hold off on the unknowable becoming knowable. Having the “full story” is rare and most public safety work is done without the full story.

    2. Correlation rarely equals causation

    Additional video evidence, toxicology and autopsy results will give more insights into the cause of Floyd’s death. It is too soon to know if the officer kneeling on Floyd harmed him. We don’t even know the amount of force being applied to Floyd...

    3. Bad apples spoil the rest of the bag

    Every business has high-performers and poor-performers. An effective training, supervision and evaluation process should seek to identify and improve the bad performers or transition those poor performers out of the organization...

    4. Buddy care is second only to self-care

    If Officer Chauvin, shown kneeling on Floyd’s neck, had been shot in the leg with severe bleeding his partners would have rushed to save his life by eliminating the threat, applying a tourniquet and rapidly transporting Chauvin in a patrol car to the nearest hospital. In this incident, fully knowing it was being videoed with bystanders encouraging action, officers stood by as Chauvin put his career at risk. He was in an unsafe, career-threatening situation but his fellow officers let him keep digging a hole instead of saving him...

    5. Emergencies are dynamic

    Tactics need to adapt or evolve with the emergency. This incident transitioned from a “man resisting arrest” to a “man down” without any perceivable change in tactics. Officers either ignored or were so task-focused they couldn’t hear the narration of bystanders...

    6. Train and learn

    Yes, we don’t have the full story. Yes, the rush to judgment will hamper the investigation and put officers at risk. Yes, it is frustrating that civilians don’t understand the challenges of law enforcement or appreciate the danger of being a police officer.

    But we need to learn from this incident...

    About the author
    Greg Friese, MS, NRP, is the Lexipol Editorial Director, leading the efforts of the editorial team on PoliceOne, FireRescue1, CorrectionsOne, EMS1 and EfficientGov. Greg has a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's degree from the University of Idaho. He is an educator, author, paramedic and runner. Greg is a three-time Jesse H. Neal award winner, the most prestigious award in specialized journalism, and 2018 Eddie Award winner for best Column/Blog. Ask questions or submit article ideas to Greg by emailing him at [email protected] and connect with him on LinkedIn.
     
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