Transcript for Black police officer responds to death of George Floyd
Joining us now is the president of the afro-american police league Deandre' Hutchison, a sergeant with the Houston police department. Thank you so much for being with us this morning. Seeing what was in Zachary's piece and what's happening not just in Minneapolis but around the country, it seems clear people of color are skeptical even distrustful of law enforcement. Why do you think that is? Good morning, Eva. Thank you for having me on to give my perspective. But people are outraged because this narrative has played on for way, way too long and just like in that video, just like in some of the other videos we've seen played out on the national level, the police have violated a trust, the oath to protect and serve. That was violated in that video and it was very inhumane what happened in that video. And nobody wants that to happen to their brother, their uncle, their dad and that's -- as a black person first that's exactly what I couldn't help but think of. What if that was my father, my brother, my best friend, somebody that I knew and cherished very near and dear to my heart? So that's where like you say this trauma, if you will, almost like PTSD, it just keeps opening this gaping wound that has never been healed. And speaking of that, how difficult is it for black officers to balance their job and their feelings about what's going on around them? Absolutely, and it's outrageous. It builds up a lot of rage because I know what type of police officer I am and I know what kind of police department we have here in Houston. Then you see videos of those instances and those incidents and it just breaks your heart. Where was the diversity in that police department? Where was the command staff that would check that kind of force because this guy had a record of using excessive force? There was nobody in that department that said, hey, we might need to look at this a little bit closer and do some more examination and maybe discipline some of these guys that are using excessive force on scenes because, if they would have done that earlier on, we may not have gotten to this flash bang that we see now. If you can, help us understand where and how do officers learn to deal with people in that way? They never learn to deal with people by putting -- impeding their breath. We all know ax fixation, positional asphyxiation, all of these things play a factor when people are excited, they're on drugs, they are stressed in high stress situations. So breathing is already challenging enough. But then you add a 200-pound person impeding your airway, we have stricter laws as it relates to domestic violence and strangulation here in Houston. And we know that that's a fatal -- that enters people into that fatal plummet. When you impede someone's breath, they can't breathe. So they're going to die. So there's no training that teaches us to impede somebody's breathing and put our knees in their neck. But we do -- we are trained to use necessary force to effect an arrest. Once the cuffs go on, all the aggression, all the force, all the resistance should have stopped and that guy should have been placed in the car or placed on the curb sitting up right waiting for the next thing to happen. To be transported in the ambulance or to be transported to a jail facility. Sergeant Hutchison, thank you so much for being with us this morning. We really appreciate your time. Thank you. Our T.J. Holmes had a story yesterday and an interview subject described it as a profound exhaustion within the black community and a collision of two crises, you have obviously the racial tension in America, but also the backdrop of the pandemic disproportionately impacting minority communities as well. Definitely a tipping point in this country and really just a difficult time all around.
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