It was similar to the technique used by-then Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on George Floyd, a handcuffed Black man who said he couldn’t breathe and then died. Chauvin has since been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Floyd’s death kicked off a wave of unrest around the nation, including the demonstration in Seattle, where the unidentified officer used a similar technique on two men who were accused of looting.
In one case, a protester could be heard shouting “get your fucking knee off his neck.” A second officer then shoved the first officer’s knee off of the suspect’s neck and onto his back in footage captured by Crosscut journalist Matt McKnight:
A longer clip by McKnight showed the same officer apparently using his knee on the neck of another white looting suspect minutes earlier. Then, he runs to help officers catch the second suspect, where he uses his knee again: