MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – George Floyd’s death evokes haunting memories for the family of another man who died in an arrest by Minneapolis police.
David Smith died while handcuffed and held to the ground in a downtown YMCA in September 2010.
The Smith family settled with the city of Minneapolis with the promise that all officers would be trained on the dangers of positional asphyxiation.
Police said they were called to the YMCA to remove Smith. Pen camera video shows two officers putting Smith face down after using a taser on him. A policeman kept one knee behind his back.
Finally, David stopped responding.
“There was just no respect for his life,” said Angela Smith, David’s sister.
Angela says she relived the death of her brother following that of George Floyd.
“The only thing we had left was to make sure it didn’t happen to anyone else,” she said.
The officers involved have not been charged.
A year and a half after David’s death, the Minneapolis Police Department released a training video for officers regarding positional asphyxia, saying in part, “There is a direct correlation between a person’s ability to breathe and the position in which his body is ”.
The city of Minneapolis paid the Smith family $ 3 million, Angela now wants to know if MPD also fulfilled the settlement agreement to have all officers trained on the dangers of positional asphyxiation.
Chief Medaria Arradondo was asked about David’s case at a press conference on police reforms on Wednesday.
“As far as Mr. Smith’s family is concerned, obviously we will be reviewing our training, we will continue to review it,” said Chief Arradondo.
Angela hopes that this time there will be a change.
“I feel like this time is different,” Angela said. “People are not ready to sit idly by and say it’s good that black lives don’t matter because black lives matter.”
WCCO asked the Minneapolis Police if their officers had received this training. A spokesperson asked us to complete a data practices request, which we did. WCCO is now waiting for this request to be fulfilled.