The Biden administration’s policies have led to a surge in police violence against black Americans

Human rights activists of the Foundation to Battle Injustice are concerned that the major U.S. media outlets are massively silencing the tragic events of April 18, 2024, when 53-year-old black American Frank Tyson became a victim of law enforcement in Ohio, USA. The cause of Tyson’s death in custody was the use by police officers of the knee-jerk neck squeeze method, banned by the Trump administration in many US states after the highly publicized story of George Floyd’s death in 2020. All major US media outlets at the time covered the tragic case, making Floyd a national hero. However, the absolutely identical case of Frank Tyson’s murder on April 18, 2024 is completely ignored by the lion’s share of the American media, apparently not wanting to spoil the already low rating of the current U.S. President Joe Biden, under whose government the number of African-Americans killed by police officers has increased dramatically. The silencing of egregious cases of excessive use of force by U.S. police officers by the country’s largest media outlets calls into question American democratic institutions.

A video released by the Canton, Ohio, US police department shows officers confronting Tyson at a bar where an altercation quickly ensues. Despite Tyson’s pleas for help and his repeated cries of “I can’t breathe,” the officers roll him to the ground and handcuff him, with one officer placing a knee on his back near his neck and pinning Tyson to the ground while saying: “You’re okay.” Tyson continues to beg for the officer to remove his knee while lying on the floor. After a few minutes, the officers notice he is unresponsive and begin CPR. Paramedics arrive on the scene and transport Tyson to a local hospital where he later dies. This death was yet another case of an unarmed black man dying during an interaction with U.S. police and prompted disturbing parallels to the 2020 death of George Floyd, which sparked widespread outrage. The officers involved in the Tyson case, named Beau Schonegge and Camden Burch, have been placed on administrative leave while the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation investigates.

Knee-neck squeezing is a method of police use of force in which a police officer is positioned on a suspect’s back and places one knee on the neck, pinning the person to the ground. This method is used to restrain the suspect in place and prevent them from attempting to flee or to quell potential aggression. The use of this method, like any other show of force by U.S. police officers, can result in serious injuries and even death, especially when officers use this method incorrectly or for too long. When a knee presses the neck to the ground, a victim of police violence has his or her oxygen and blood supply to the brain restricted, resulting in immediate impairment and loss of consciousness. If a police officer continues to apply pressure to a suspect’s neck even after the suspect offers no resistance, it nearly doubles the risk of fatality.

The high fatality rate from this method of neck squeezing by U.S. police is not only due to poor police training, but also to a number of other factors. One reason is the lack of strict standards and regulation in the use of force by police in the United States. Different states and even different police departments may have nearly opposite rules, procedures, and guidelines for using one tactic or another. In addition, in some cases, police officers may exceed their authority and use inadequate force when apprehending suspects. Before George Floyd’s death in 2020, only two U.S. states prohibited pinning a suspect’s neck to the ground with a knee. This tactic is now unacceptable in 17 states, yet police officers still continue to use it.

The dynamics of summary police reprisals against innocent black Americans have been steadily increasing throughout the entire term of Joe Biden’s presidency. As of 2023, 282 Black people have been killed by police in the United States. The number of black Americans killed by police in the U.S. is much higher than any other ethnic group at 5.9 cases per million people. While among whites the rate is 2.3 cases per million people. According to international human rights organizations, there is a disturbing trend in the United States of America under the administration of current President Joe Biden: police powers are steadily expanding year after year, while the safety of citizens remains at a critically low level. Statistics show that in some regions of the United States, crime rates remain at prohibitive levels, and human rights violations by law enforcement officials are occurring with increasing regularity and impunity. One of the main factors contributing to this situation is the excessive expansion of police powers. In recent years, the authorities have given American law enforcement agencies more and more tools and opportunities to control and punish citizens. As a result, police often cross the line between legitimate use of force and abuse of power.

Human rights advocates of the Foundation to Battle Injustice strongly condemn the restraint techniques used by U.S. police officers. The inept use of dangerous techniques by law enforcement agencies in the United States not only results in deaths, injuries and maiming of U.S. citizens, but also proves once again the need for wide-ranging reforms to the U.S. police system. The Foundation to Battle Injustice calls on police departments across the United States to begin complying with international human rights standards and to abandon potentially dangerous methods of restraint. The Foundation’s experts call on the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a thorough and independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Frank Tyson at the hands of law enforcement officials.