Report: Minneapolis Police Department training materials show knee-to-neck restraint similar to the one used on Floyd

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – One of the four officers implicated in the death of George Floyd recently filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him, by way of providing 30 pages of MPD training material that showcased officers were trained on applying a very similar restraint technique as seen in the infamous video.

The attorney for former Officer Thomas Lane filed a motion of dismissal for the charges of aiding and abetting unintentional second degree murder while committing a felony and aiding and abetting second degree manslaughter – culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk on July 7th.

Some of the arguments presented in the motion for dismissal drafted by defense attorney Earl Gray are certainly notable.

Namely, Gray alleges the aspects related to the restraint used on Floyd appears to be among MPD training material and also that there’s little evidence to suggest that Lane knew that Derek Chauvin was actively committing a felony.

What makes the latter so important is that the state must prove Lane knew Chauvin’s actions were criminal while they were ongoing, which the defense provided numerous exhibits that would make it extremely difficult to come close to that threshold of proof.

While the case was in its early stages, MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo noted that officers were never trained to apply a knee to a suspect’s neck.

However, Lane’s attorney provided MPD training material on what is known as the “maximum restraint technique,” or commonly referred to as the MRT.

According to the training material presented by the defense in the motion that showed the MRT to be nearly identical to the restrain used on Floyd, the following is stated about the application:

“The maximal restraint technique shall only be used in situations where handcuffed subjects are combative and still pose a threat to themselves, officers or others, or could cause significant damage [to] property if not properly restrained.”

The motion further pointed out that Lane could not have perceived the actions on May 25th to be criminal, based upon the circumstances of the entire scenario.

This notion was alleged based upon the lead taken by Chauvin, a designated field training officer with roughly 20 years on the force, and Lane having only been completed with his entire training for four days when encountering Floyd:

“Officer Lane did not know there was a felony being committed or attempted when Chauvin was kneeling on Floyd. If in fact a felony was committed or attempted. The training material supports that neck restraint was something taught to officers.”

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From there, the motion points out that while Lane was new to the job, he was trained that officers are allowed to apply force under certain instances when suspects aren’t cooperating.

Furthermore, exhibits provided by the defense showed that Lane asked Chauvin if it was appropriate to roll Floyd on his side twice.

In the first instance, Chauvin replied that they were going to keep Floyd just as he was, and when asked again by Lane, Chauvin simply didn’t respond.

Overall, 13 points were made by the defense’s motion to dismiss the charges against Lane, which are as follows:

  • Minneapolis Police training that was received by Lane
  • Lan had only been on the job for four days
  • Chauvin, field training officer, 20 years’ experience
  • Lane put his gun away immediately once Floyd showed his hands
  • Floyd’s resistance being hand cuffed, Floyd’s resistance walking to the squad, Floyd’s resistance getting into the squad
  • Lane offered to sit with Floyd, to roll down the windows, to turn the air conditioning on in the squad
  • Floyd initially claimed he couldn’t breathe when officers were attempting to put him in the squad vehicle, before he was moved to the ground
  • Floyd requested to be moved to the ground
  • Floyd continued to yell and move around while on the ground
  • Lane questioned Chauvin twice about rolling Floyd on to his side
  • Lane went in the ambulance and started CPR on Floyd
  • Lane’s consistent statement to the Sergeant at the scene
  • Lane voluntarily giving a statement, corroborated by video

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is expected to challenge the motion to dismiss brought up by Lane’s attorney, according to a spokesperson from the office. If that is indeed the intent, then the Minnesota AG has until August 10th to challenge the motion.

Challenges aside, the defense certainly provided some solid evidence with regard to clearing Lane. As for the other former officer implicated in the death of Floyd, it is unclear if anything similar to Lane’s defense is being considered.

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