“He knew what he was doing “: by watching the video of the agony of George Floyd, Andre Balian, a professor of martial arts, immediately recognized his former pupil Derek Chauvin when he saw him press his knee on the neck of the black man for nearly nine minutes.
“It is unthinkable that he did not know what kind of damage it was causing or could cause in this situation “, assured the AFP and the instructor, about the white policeman whose fatal act has led to a historic movement against racism and police brutality.
At the time of the calls to reform the police emanate from the four corners of the country, many experts plead for a better psychological examination of agents, before employment.
The memory of him who taught it, twenty years ago, the fighting techniques, evokes Andre Balian a sense of unease. It was ” a moron “, who stared at the cross arms of all the people around him, ” recalls the professor of the Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu Association of Minnesota.
By pressing his knee on the neck of George Floyd, ” he knew what he was doing and that it was wrong, and they do not have interest to let it get by. “
During the 19 years he spent in the police of Minneapolis, city in northern United States, Derek Chauvin has been the subject of a dozen complaints of abuse. The white policeman, had suddenly pulled a woman out of his car for a minor speeding ticket.
For James Butcher, an expert in psychological tests for aspiring police officers, anyone capable of such violence should never have been hired.
“It is very difficult to imagine that a person who is supposed to have been the subject of an examination to detect mental health issues could commit physical violence such as against another person,” analysis for the AFP, professor emeritus of the university of Minnesota.
“It is very clear that there has been a problem of detection of personality disorders, which originated from his behavior. “
Tou Thao, one of the three other police officers fired and charged after the death of George Floyd, was also the subject of complaints of abuse: six in seven years.
The agent is, among other things, accused of using excessive force during an arrest, during which the teeth of the suspect had been broken. The case, which was brought to court, was eventually settled out of court.
The police of Minneapolis had already in the past faced questions over its recruitment methods.
In 2017, one of its agents had killed a woman, Justine Damond, who had called the 911 emergency number to report a possible sexual assault in an alley near her home.
Agent Mohamed Noor, who was in a patrol car had pulled over, injuring the abdomen. She died on the spot.
The controls prior to his hiring had drawn up the portrait of a man impatient to minor offences, who did not like to interact with people, and who may have difficulty with the stress of the job, had detailed the prosecutors during his trial.
He was convicted of murder and sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison.
Deniz Ones, a professor at the university of Minnesota, believes that a better review of the police before they are hired “is probably the most important change to have to occur” at this historic movement in favour of a reform of the police.
For the expert in psychology, these reviews highlight intolerances to stress, or a lack of sensitivity, which should put aside some of the candidates. But many police departments do not have access to psychological resources necessary to interpret their results.
“If they are not well trained, or if they do not interpret the results, it could be the laxity in recruitment and more examples of what we have seen with such violence on the part of the police,” predicts the expert.