As far as the in custody death that occurred in Minneapolis: I am withholding my opinion until all of the evidence is in. So many are rushing to judgement based upon selected bits of a video that hasn’t even been published in its entirety. There are many missing facts, too many to rush to convict the officers in this case.
I am seeing people say that there is no way you can justify keeping a knee on someone’s neck (not throat) for 7 minutes. Anyone who says that either has a political agenda or no experience with violent people. I can think of times that it is not only justifiable, but necessary. That doesn’t mean that it was in this case, but that there are times when it is.
Let me explain:
Back when I was a firefighter/paramedic, we were once called to a mobile home park for “altered mental status.” When we arrived, we were met in the yard of one of the mobile homes by a woman who told us that her husband was a diabetic who became combative every time his blood sugar dropped too low, and that she had just measured it at only 46 before we arrived. She also said to be careful because the man was on disability and had nothing to do all day but lift weights 8 hours a day.
We entered the front door to find a mildly agitated and confused male, pacing back and forth in the living room. He wasn’t a big man, but there was no fat on him. I asked to take his blood sugar. He refused. I tried for ten minutes to get him to eat something, or to agree to come to the hospital. He refused. For ten minutes.
Finally, I told him that he had no choice and he would have to go. He smiled and said, “Let’s do this, then.”
There were nine of us: Six firefighters and three cops. Not one of us was small. I weighed 250 pounds. He grabbed by Battalion chief by the throat and lifted him off the ground, straight armed. We tackled him and eventually wrestled him to the ground. He was still kicking our collective asses for almost ten minutes, even after we were on the ground. They tried a Taser- no effect.
We finally, with all of us lying on him, managed to get a pair of handcuffs on him. He strained, and broke the chain. Finally he got a little tired and we managed to get a second pair of cuffs on him. At that point, the easiest way to control a patient is the same way you control a steer- control the head. You pin them at the neck (not throat), shoulders, waist, and ankles.
I was unable to start in IV to give him sugar, so I had to resort to giving him a shot of Glucagon. Now glucagon takes a while to work, especially when you give it in a muscle. He continued wrestling with us for another ten minutes before we could get him in the rig. The only way to keep him down was to continue pinning him.
By the time we got to the hospital, his blood sugar was back in the normal range, and he was completely lucid. He shook my hand and thanked me, then apologized and said he hoped that no one was injured. He turned out to be the nicest guy in the world, once he was feeling better.
As for me, I had a torn uniform, fat lip, black eye, and bruises all over. I was sore for three days. There were nine of us, and he solidly kicked every one of our asses.