POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Sheriff Grady Judd told 8 On Your Side he would have acted swiftly to take a Minneapolis police officer into custody after he was seen on cell phone video with his knee to a man’s neck.
That man, George Floyd, 46, died Monday.
“Based on what I can see, that police officer here would have been locked up and jailed before the sun went down,” Sheriff Judd said.
On Friday, the Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced he had filed 3rd degree murder and manslaughter charges against former Officer Derek Chauvin.
According to the criminal complaint, Chauvin had his knee pressed against Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
Floyd is heard telling “I can’t breath.”
“Two minutes and 53 seconds of this was after Mr. Floyd was non-responsive,” the complaint reads.
“I kept thinking there’s gotta be something here I’m missing. I didn’t miss it,” Sheriff Judd said.
Judd has watched the video over and over and over again.
“Totally outside the bounds of the training and based upon that segment alone, he would have been in jail before sundown,” he said.
He told 8 On Your Side exclusively, probable cause is often enough to make an immediate arrest.
“In this agency, we would have looked at that, we would have gathered information together and we would have been talking to the news media and said ‘here’s a picture of him in jail tonight’ and ‘here’s the details that we know at this moment in time’,” he said.
Sheriff Judd not only takes issue with former Officer Chauvin’s actions, but the other officers on scene.
All four were quickly fired after the incident.
“I don’t see any resistance. I see everybody passively moving around just like, hey so he’s got his knee in his neck. That runs chills through my body,” Judd said.
His deputies, he said, are trained to use a knee against the shoulder blade as they restrain a suspect, not the neck.
Sheriff Judd calls the images of looting, burning buildings and destruction in Minneapolis “unacceptable.”
“They wouldn’t have broken one window without us being all over him because the rioters and the looters are not gonna tear up people’s stuff,” said Sheriff Judd.
He also denounced Minnesota State Patrol’s arrest of CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and his crew Friday morning.
“There was a whole lot of people to arrest there, CNN wasn’t one of them. CNN, see that’s stifling the people’s right to hear and see what’s happening,” said Judd.
Lakeland Police Chief Ruben Garcia responded to the turmoil in Minneapolis with a statement:
“Any in-custody death is of grave concern to the police profession. Such tragic events must be analyzed and learned from. A police officer’s very first priority is to protect life, everyone’s life. The officers of the Lakeland Police Department undergo many hours of training in verbal and physical skill sets throughout their careers to safely, as possible, take a person into custody. When officers act outside the scope of their training and the laws governing their conduct, we must hold those officers accountable while remaining transparent to the citizens we serve.”
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