NEW YORK (PIX11) -- Sending NYPD officers in for retraining is no small task.
“My intention, moving forward is that we shall retrain the entire department – all thirty five thousand members. In particular, those twenty thousand officers who routinely work the streets in uniform or plainclothes,” said Bratton.
But what does that pledge from Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, made during Thursday’s City Hall round table discussion, actually mean?
That retraining, announced in the aftermath of Eric Garner’s fatal police encounter, will include retraining on the lethal, and non-lethal use of force.
Rev. Al Sharpton offered another suggestion.
“I think he was right when he said you got to deal with training. But is also think commissioner, that the best way to make police stop using illegal chokeholds is to perp walk one of them that did,” said Sharpton.
John Danaher, a Jujitsu instructor and former Columbia University PhD Philosophy professor showed us one of the approved holds the Los Angeles Police department is currently reviewing with visiting NYPD officers in LA.
“You can see my hand are not touching the middle. Blood is being cut off, but there’s no contact whatsoever with your trachea or windpipe,” said Danaher.
That law enforcement style approved stranglehold was indeed uncomfortable.
“When is go to apply strangulation on you now, you’ll feel the pressure is on the side of the neck over the carotid arteries. Ok and as we go to apply pressure that’s what you’ll feel,” said Danaher.
Just as importantly, John showed us how easy it is to cross the line – in the heat of the moment – between a prohibited chokehold – which could crush the trachea and an approved stranglehold that quickly cuts off the blood supply and leads to a blackout.
Retired NYPD detective Nick Casale says he would rather see officers spend more time talking someone down, before a confrontation turns physical.
“I can tell you in the days when is attended the police academy, they always spoke about the escalation of force, and they always taught you that force could always be moved up – and never down,” said Casale.
As we found out firsthand from Gracie’s Gym instructor John Danaher, the often unforgiving rules of the escalation of force will still apply, even after retraining the entire police force.