SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Police departments all over the country are under heavy scrutiny; specifically when it comes to their use of force policies following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis earlier this month.
Many are now reviewing those policies, including Sioux Falls.
The Sioux Falls Police Department actually reviews its policies on a regular basis with the Legal and Liability Risk Management Institute, because state and federal laws change and it wants to ensure they’re following the law.
But following the death of George Floyd and the nationwide call for reform and violent protests, the department decided to review them again to ensure their officers are following the laws.
The video showing an officer’s knee on the neck of George Floyd has sent a firestorm of outrage and violent protests across the country after Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe and later died.
“We already began doing some training with our officers following the immediacy of the event that happened with Mr. Floyd and we did some refresher training with our officers to go over our use of force policy and arrest protocols, again, to show why we do what we do and how what happened in Minneapolis is not part of our policy we don’t train that,” Chief Matt Burns said.
Burns says chokeholds and strangleholds are not trained by the department.
He also says they reviewed seven other key areas; including how best to de-escalate situations before using force, policies on warning suspects before shooting and officers to intervene to stop another officer from using excessive force.
“I’m pleased to inform you that our policies stand up well in these discussions, they’re lawful and they’re appropriate,” Burns said.
Even so, Governor Kristi Noem addressed policy reform with law enforcement yesterday.
“The sheriff and the chief have met with the governor and Senator Thune to ensure anything that comes from the federal level and the state level, we will be able to be in full compliance with and have our policies reflect the will of what the citizens want to have,” Captain Mike Walsh of the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office said.
“The residents and visitors to our city can be assured that our officer’s efforts to serve and protect them rest on a sound and responsible foundation,” Chief Burns said.
They also talked about the use of police body cameras. The department has 30, but by law, that footage is not releasable to the public.
If you’d like to take a closer look at those police policies and others, click here.