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Fellsmere police chief shares how officers trained to 'de-escalate'

Keith Touchberry teaches ethics, police procedures
Posted at 10:37 PM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 23:33:48-04

FELLSMERE, Fla. — The chief of police in Fellsmere said Wednesday that what he saw in the video of George Floyd's death is not what he teaches his officers.

"It is not authorized by our department and I am not aware of any police department or law enforcement agency that authorizes an officer to place a knee on someone's neck as a means to control them," said Police Chief Keith Touchberry.

Touchberry also teaches ethics and police procedures to several law enforcement agencies on the Treasure Coast.

He said even before Floyd's death, his courses taught officers how to interact with the community in a safe way.

"All of our courses are designed to properly equip and train officers on how to interact in the community, how to use proper force and how to de-escalate," said Touchberry.

In recent years, the use of body cameras has made it easier for officers to preserve investigations.

Touchberry said he always instructs his officers to act as if they're being recorded.

"I think law enforcement agencies throughout the country can always do more to grow and strengthen their relationship within the community," said Touchberry. "But I also put it back on the citizens to go out there and learn more about law enforcement."