Next generation of law enforcement officers learn from death of George Floyd

Pinellas County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Videos showing a deadly encounter between George Floyd and Derek Chauvin helped lead to the conviction of the former police officer who held his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. Now, the same videos are being used to help educate a new generation of police officers.

Michael Dibuono teaches criminal justice classes at St. Pete College but says the technique used by Chauvin is not one he teaches his students.

“As it was shown in the video, no, we don’t teach that specific technique,” said Dibuono.

Instead, future law enforcement officers are now being trained in tactics to help avoid deadly confrontations.

“Here at St. Pete College, we are constantly looking to evolve as the police training evolves. We have looked at situations as they come to light and look at means and ways of and looked at de-escalation training as one of the most effective things that you can do,” said Dibuono, who served as a police officer starting in 1984 before becoming a teacher in the ’90s.

He says the Chauvin case has not discouraged people from wanting to become law enforcement officers. Instead, he maintains this case and others like it have had the opposite effect.

“We’ve spoken with several of the students about this and if there is going to be change to policing, they wanted to be part of that change,” he said.

At Saint Leo University, they are also using the death of George Floyd to instruct future generations of law enforcement officers.

“As it relates to things like (the) use of force, what happened with the trial recently with George Floyd, we absolutely bring that type of information into the classroom because we absolutely want to make our students be the best that they can be when they are out in the world,” said Dr. Moneque Walker-Pickett, who is the associate chair of the department of criminal justice.

Walker-Pickett’s classes can use videos like the encounter between Floyd and Chauvin to learn how to do things better.

“Included with my lectures we bring these current events in, especially we bring the videos in that have come about with this trial and other unfortunate incidents of other unarmed people being killed at the hands of law enforcement officers,” she said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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