Today, Dec. 10, 2020, the Minneapolis City Council arrived at a unanimous decision of cutting down by $8 million, the budget of the city’s police department. The amount will instead be used to fund initiatives that will go toward crime and violence prevention. The original proposal of reducing the humber of authorized police force staffing down to 750, from the existing 888 was dropped as Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey would have not approved at all.
The budget cut is a compromise to citizen calls for police defunding, ever since the senseless killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. While the calls were for the dismantling of the police force, Mayor Frey believes that doing so would be irresponsible, as the city has been seeing an increase in criminal incidences.
Still, the city’s police force has been under close scrutiny, particularly by social media users. Many are calling attention to the fact that police officers are applying, even without proper training, Brazilian jiu jitsu strangulation techniques in subduing subjects. When Derek Chauvin applied a chokehold on Floyd’s neck, it was apparent that Chauvin lacked knowledge about the possible fatal consequence of such action since he ignored Floyd’s pleas of not being able to breathe.
That being the case, many have also been suggesting to the city council to have the members of the police force undergo Brazilian jiu jitsu training as a way of reforming the police officers. However, it is still a debatable matter as others point out that Chauvin’s application of the chokehold was uncalled for, since George Floyd was not resisting arrest and was in fact, doggedly following police orders.
Why Defunding and Jiu Jitsu Training are Not the Real Solutions in Instituting Police Reform
Anyone who has knowledge of judo or jiu jitsu readily understood why Chauvin’s act of kneeling on Floyd’s neck was fatal. UFC champion Jon Jones, identified the technique as “blood choke,” a form of submission hold that compresses the carotid arteries. When applied for more than 20 seconds, the strangulation becomes fatal because blood is prevented from flowing to the brain. Although chokehold in combat sports is allowed, its use is subject to restrictions based on the age and rank of the competitors.
Still, as a trained law enforcement officer, Chauvin has knowledge that the use of lateral visceral neck restraint or blood choke, is only applied on uncooperative subjects but without causing permanent injury or death in enforcing submission. Moreover, since the early 1990s, blood choke has been widely banned in American police departments throughout the country. The nationwide ban followed suit to the Los Angeles Police Department’s 1980 decision to ban the method after news reports revealed a spate of choking deaths had occurred during the period.
Simply stated, police reformation is not just a matter of cutting down budget or maintaining a specific number of police officers as members of the police force. It’s not even the need to give proper jiu jitsu training because the method is not the problem. It’s more on the willingness to perform law enforcement duties within the boundaries of law.