George Floyd death, Chauvin trial raises questions about Chicago police use of force policies

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The police knee-to-the-neck tactic that prosecutors say killed George Floyd last year is the focus of the police trial underway in Minneapolis.

In light of what happened to Floyd, the ABC7 I-Team looked into Chicago police use of force and questions about policies and procedures.

The Minneapolis police chief who fired officer Derek Chauvin right after died was on the witness stand for most of the day Monday, talking about the carotid artery hold Chauvin had on George Floyd for more than nine minutes.

It is a police control method that many police departments have had to address, including Chicago.
When Officer Chauvin subdued Floyd he used a neck pressure-point method that Chauvin's then police chief testified should never have been used.

"Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting, and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped. To continue to apply that level of force to a person prone out, handcuffed behind their back, that in no way shape or form is anything is by policy, is not part of our training and certainly not part of our ethics or rules," said Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo.

For decades many police departments, including Chicago, allowed similar chokeholds as non-lethal methods of controlling arrestees.
In the CPD Use Of Force General Order from February 2020, such head and neck holds were relegated only to situations necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm-where someone is about to kill another.

In the Chicago police policy, shooting a gun and a chokehold are both categorized as deadly force-only to be used in an imminent threat
and the carotid artery restraint is also specifically called out as deadly force.

"A carotid artery restraint under police guidance, Chicago Police Department guidance - that's deadly force," said former federal prosecutor Gil Soffer, legal analyst for ABC7.
"And that can only be used as a last resort."

According to both Chicago and Minneapolis policies-- when a scene is safe and an arrestee under control, if they are injured, medical attention should be immediately requested. That too is a point of contention in the Minnesota trial.

Chauvin faces manslaughter, second degree murder, and third degree murder charges in Floyd's death.
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