Local law enforcement leaders have not hesitated in speaking out against the ugly police incident in Minneapolis recently.
46-year-old George Floyd was pinned down by police outside a Minneapolis store last Monday. Floyd allegedly suffocated as an officer pressed a knee against his neck.
According to LaPorte Sheriff John Boyd, it’s a clear case of excessive force. "While we don't know the totality of those circumstances," he says, "There is just absolutely no excuse for that level of force; it wasn't warranted." Boyd notes that, by all appearances, Floyd was handcuffed and with his mobility limited, did not pose a threat.
According to Sheriff Boyd, his officers have been trained to avoid the head and neck areas when subduing a suspect. "If you're not justified in using lethal force," he says,"that's overboard, and we won't stand for it. Our staff previous to this had been trained and warned against that, and we certainly wouldn't tolerate it."
Boyd isn't alone in his criticism. Michigan City Police Chief Dion Campbell has also spoke out against the incident in Minneapolis. In a statement issued Thursday, Campbell said, "It’s a sobering moment for us as we reflect on this unfortunate incident and the need for on-going high level training in the use of force continuum." Campbell also called for a strong culture that values human life, while keeping all citizens safe.
Local authorities are optimistic that violent outbursts as seen recently in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis will not erupt here. "We've got an excellent relationship with the public that we serve," says Sheriff Boyd, "We recognize here in LaPorte County that policing is a cooperative effort." Both Boyd and Campbell agree that the key is transparency and accountability. "In every profession there may be one or two bad apples," Boyd says,"We recognize what happened in Minneapolis was uncalled-for. We want to make sure that doesn't happen here. And rest assured that we wouldn't tolerate anything like that here in LaPorte County."