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CT law enforcement officers need better training in handling arrests - expert

Policing expert Eldred de Klerk was responding to a video showing city traffic officials manhandling an 18-year-old.

City of Cape Town law enforcement officers during a passing out parade at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on 9 February 2020. Picture: @alanwinde/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - A policing expert said that City of Cape Town's law enforcement needed better training in dealing with arrests.

Eldred de Klerk was responding to a video showing city traffic officials manhandling an 18-year-old.

The drama played out at AZ Berman Drive and Bottlebrush Road in Lentegeur in Mitchells Plain this week.

Sound from the video shows what happened after a routine traffic stop and shows a city traffic officer putting an 18-year-old into a chokehold.

The city has defended its officials, saying that the boy verbally abused them and then ran away.

The city's JP Smith: "As soon as the officer began to issue the summons, the driver got out of his vehicle and became aggressive and making racist remarks. At the same time, we will not allow our officers to be attacked verbally or physically when they're executing their duties."

However, comparative policing specialist De Klerk said that the video revealed the need for better training.

"The fact that the video shows that there were three officers trying to constrain him points more to inadequate training in how to arrests and confine a suspect. There was no need for the big male officer to have his hand anywhere around the neck."

De Klerk said that the officer with his hand around the shoulder, neck and chest of the teen, in what could best be described as a "seat belt" hold, made the official vulnerable to it being interpreted as an illegal "chokehold".

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