Florida deputies are not trained to use the knee on neck technique
As the nation recoils from the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, North Central Florida law enforcement officers are adding their voice.
We'll show you what sheriff's officials have to say about the knee on neck technique which turned fatal.
The video of the Minneapolis officer with his knee on the neck of George Floyd for almost 8 minutes shows a technique local law enforcement says they don't use here in Florida.
Art Forgey is the spokesman for the Alachua County Sheriff's Department who said, "that's not a specific technique that's taught or trained here in Alachua County. Obviously the head and neck are very sensitive areas and those are areas our deputies and law enforcement, in general, are trained to stay away from."
Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz said, "I think as a law enforcement officer and a sheriff and as a human being it was very disturbing. I mean his face it looked, it was very hard to look at I'll be honest with you it was hard to watch."
And while they say the actions of a few should not speak for the many they acknowledge instances like this put a strain on trust between citizens and police everywhere.
Forgey said, "it's simply another level of transparency that in the end we hope we're providing the best possible services. But if we're not we want to be the first to say hey that's not right and discipline ourself."
Sheriff Schultz added, "my opinion is somebody should have stepped up when that gentleman was saying hey I can't breathe. Obviously there were enough people there to contain the situation and somebody should have done something differently. I hope that the case is thoroughly investigated and whatever the outcome is righteousness will prevail."
Forgey says he applauds people's right to protest and as long as they can remain non-violent believes they can accomplish good, but when civilians turn violent their message is lost. "If you look at what's going on in Minneapolis, a lot of the protesting and looting and rioting and burning has tarnished the death that they're out there protesting."
Tv20's Landon Harrar reported local "law enforcement say they do have crowd control devices on hand like rubber bullets and tear gas but for any protests that may happen in this area they do not expect them to get violent. We reached out to the Marion County Sheriff's Office as well but they declined to comment on this story.