George Floyd's Knee Restraint Death Is Reminder of Tony Timpa's Killing, His Family Says

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A recent review of 100 of the nation's largest departments found that 28 of them banned or strictly limited the use of chokeholds. In the wake of George Floyd's killing, now those tactics, along with knee restraints, are being reexamined.

Knee restraints like the one Derek Chauvin used on Floyd happen more frequently than you may think. Just 11 days ago, an officer in Seattle was seen on video placing a knee on a suspect's neck until another officer pushed it off. 

Another case from 2016 in Dallas is remarkably similar to what happened to George Floyd. Business executive Tony Timpa called police seeking help, saying he was off his medication for schizophrenia.  He had also taken cocaine, according to an autopsy. After officers arrived, chaos ensued.

Timpa was flipped over on his stomach while handcuffed and then pinned under a cop's knee for nearly 14 minutes. He pleaded for help more than 30 times, before he lost consciousness and died.

His mother, Vicki Timpa, is still grieving for her son, and the family lawyer, Geoff Henley, said what happened to Tony is similar to Floyd's case.

"We are alleging that they killed him by using unnecessary deadly force," Hanley said.

And it's the use of deadly force that's being called into question all over the country, including by police themselves.

"Seeing all these videos, my initial reaction is one of disbelief and disgust," said Tom Verni, a former instructor at the NYPD police academy.

When asked if the maneuver is ever appropriate, Verni said, "Maybe [for] a few seconds to get that person into custody and then you are off of them. Departments don't teach that maneuver, because you can risk someone's life."

The medical examiner ruled Tony Timpa's death a homicide. A criminal case against the officers was dropped and the cops have denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

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