ALLENTOWN, Pa. - "Trying to restrain or someone's head. Is that proper protocol in a lot of situations?" I asked Emanuel Kapelsohn.
"Absolutely," he said.
Kapelsohn is a 40-year use-of-force expert testifying both for and against police officers.
"To render an ultimate opinion, I would need to see all the videos and all the witness statements," he added.
But what he can see in a 23-second video clip of Allentown officers restraining a man, is very different from the George Floyd incident. Floyd died after an officer's knee was on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.
"Lower leg may be going across the person's neck but you can see the officer's shin is on his head or shoulder," he said while looking at the video.
"That is not a neck restraint. This is neither going to cut off airflow in the the trachea, which is in the front of the throat nor is it going to actively cut off blood flow to the brain," Kapelsohn went on to explain.
Kapelsohn, who also teaches police procedure, has literally written the book on it. The book, used by the Allentown Police Academy, says controlling someone's head is a common police procedure. This is especially true, he says, when a person is acting erratically, not listening, and spitting, which Allentown police say the man was doing.
"I have to control the position of the head until you get a spit shield or spit mask on them and that is what they seem to be doing according to the press release," he said.
Kapelsohn notes the man was treated and released from the hospital after the incident. He is urging the public to wait for a final judgment until all the facts are known but admits that may be tough in this hyper-sensitive time.