Local police departments say kneeling on someone’s neck is not part of training


North Augusta (WJBF)- Local law enforcement agencies are speaking out against the actions of the officers involved in the death of George Floyd and the use of force in his arrest.

Representatives of both the Aiken County Sheriff’s Department and North Augusta Public Safety say, that based on what they saw in that viral video, the officers involved were not following any training guidelines that they have heard of.

“Based on what the 8 minute video shows that’s been released, that’s been viewed, that officer was not acting within training that we receive in South Carolina,” said Lieutenant Tim Thornton of North Augusta Public Safety.

We asked Lt. Thornton to explain to us what the procedures for detaining a nonviolent suspect were.

He told NewsChannel 6 that in the case of a compliant, nonviolent suspect, they simply cuff them and put them in the back of the police vehicle.

As for suspects that resist arrest, the procedure is a little different. They may have to improvise to subdue the individual.

“Once we have him in a place where he’s secure, handcuffed behind his back, then we are going to make him or her comfortable and we are going to do what we can to treat him with a level of respect and dignity,” said Lt. Thornton.

Aiken County Sheriff’s Office Captain Eric Abdullah agrees and says in a statement:

“Defensive Tactics, which includes using force, for law enforcement officers is something that we train on annually which is prescribed by the SC Criminal Justice Academy.  Through this training, there has not been any known methods of using a “kneeling tactic” nor has there been any technique like this in a training lesson plan.”

Lt. Thornton says that North Augusta Public Safety holds a class to educate citizens on what their officers do daily, but it has been put on hold due to the pandemic.

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