ROCKINGHAM COUNTY — Local law enforcement agencies are reacting to the video recorded during George Floyd’s arrest. The video shows the moments when the Minneapolis officer holds him down with his knee on his neck for several minutes.
Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page was disturbed after watching the video and says the force used in the arrest should have never happened.
“We’re trained if you are arresting somebody and they’re on the ground you can be trained to put your knee on the lower back area but on the neck area that’s a potential for injury, and like I said you heard the guy talking about he couldn’t breathe,” Page said.
Page reiterates the danger in that type of restraint used and the steps that should have been taken.
“If you arrest somebody and you take them into your custody you now have an obligation to protect that person. If that person needs medical attention, you have an obligation to call and get them assistance. If that person doesn’t need medical attention, once you arrest, you take them before the magistrate and follow the lawful process that’s set out by the law. But if you stand there and don’t do anything you’re just as bad as the person that’s doing the activity,” Page said.
The gravity of this situation is being felt across the nation. Protesters rioted in Minneapolis over the injustice of another black man who has died as a result of an encounter with police.
It motivated Page to reiterate the importance of proper arrest techniques to his deputies.
“I talk to them about this incident, and I told the supervisors to look at the video and sit down with your deputies and talk about this situation because when something like this happens in America it affects every agency in America,” Page said.
Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers shared his reaction to Floyd’s death and the use of force. He released this statement to FOX8 Thursday afternoon:
“The Guilford County Office respects the constitutional rights of all residents of Guilford County and does not condone any abusive behavior. When complaints of misconduct are made against our deputies or detention officers, I as the Sheriff, take them seriously and make sure they are thoroughly investigated. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of George Floyd of Minneapolis that died in custody.”
Page says building trust in our communities is hard and when something like this happens it only destroys the trust from the community they’re steadily trying to build.
“I rest assured that we’re going to do everything that the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office — and I know a lot of law enforcement are looking at this video and also saying this — we’re going to do our best to make sure number one that we properly hire, we properly train, we have good policies and we properly supervise our employees, you gotta have all of that,” Page said.
Forsyth County Sheriff Kimbrough plans to make a public announcement regarding this incident on Friday.