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Practices of Calgary police questioned in wake of George Floyd protests

Practices of Calgary police questioned in wake of George Floyd protests
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With hundreds of cities across North America continuing to protest police brutality against Black people, the practices of the Calgary Police Service are being questioned — especially about restraining people in the same manner as George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.

“We would not expect our officers to be compressing the neck in that situation. Generally speaking, we teach our officers to — if they are going to be restraining somebody on the ground like that — to be placing their weight or their legs on the upper back area,” said Calgary Police Chief Mark Neufeld on Friday.

“Now let’s face it, sometimes if people are resisting, that whole interaction can be dynamic, but certainly, I don’t think that’s what we saw in Minneapolis.”

Neufeld said the policing model in the U.S. is different than in Canada.

“Officers are feeling, I think, some of the frustration of being lumped into one group or one category. Again, I think the model that we have here in Canada and in Alberta speaks for itself. I think we’re in a very good place with our relationships with our community and I think that shows in some of the things we’re seeing around people coming out to have their voices heard,” he said.

“I think it’s a difficult time. I think we all appreciate that what happened in Minneapolis and what’s happened in other cases is inappropriate and we’re all working to have those things not happen. I think we’re actually closer than probably many people think.”
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