'There was a lack of humanizing a person,' Ex-Detroit Police Chief Says of George Floyd

April 01, 2021, 12:39 AM by  Allan Lengel

Isaiah McKinnon on CNN: "Take a step back."

Isaiah McKinnon, who served as Detroit police chief and deputy mayor, tells CNN Wednesday after viewing a portion of the George Floyd police video: "What I saw there was a lack of humanizing a person."

Erin Burnett asks McKinnon, who appears from Detroit: "Was this handled appropriately at any point, even at the beginning?"

"We were taught to de-escalate a situation," McKinnon says. "There's no rush on anything here. I mean it's a $20 bill. We don't know, if in fact George Floyd knew it was or was not. We don't know if he was high or what. The thing here is as law enforcement officers we are taught to de-escalate, respect people."

McKinnon's comments came after the third day of testimony for the prosecution in the trial of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with murdering Floyd last May. Floyd was accused of passing a fake $20 bill at a grocery.

"We've seen officers throughout the years do those kinds of things with people," McKinnon says. "But take a step back. Some of the classes I taught at the University [of Detroit] I would say to the officers: 'Do you want to be the lead story on the 5,  6 or  11 o'clock news? Because if you do something like this, this is what's going to happen.'"

"Let's take a take a step back and and let's see. Obviously George Floyd was having a problem. So, we as law enforcement officers, we should recognize that and make sure that we don't make the situation worse than it was when we got there, and that's exactly what they did."

McKinnon led Detroit Police from 1993-98 and was deputy mayor under Mike Duggan from 2013-16.

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