During the trial of former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin on Wednesday, Jody Stiger, a use of force expert, said Chauvin used his body weight to pin George Floyd’s neck to the ground for more than nine minutes.
Chauvin, 45, faces murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old black man who died on May 25, 2020, while he was arrested on suspicion for using a fake 20 dollar bill. A bystander recorded the arrest, showing Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck as Floyd is repeatedly heard saying he can’t breathe.
Stiger, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant and prosecution witness, said on Tuesday that Chauvin’s use of force was excessive. In Wednesday’s testimony, he said Chauvin pressed Floyd with most of his body weight from the time Floyd was pinned to the ground until the paramedics arrived.
Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, asked Stiger if footage from the arrest showed Chauvin’s knee was in fact sometimes on the area of Floyd’s scapula or the base of his neck. Stiger replied that it still seems like Chauvin’s knee was close to Floyd’s neck, but Chauvin’s weight could have changed at times.
Stiger also said that when Floyd was handcuffed and pinned to the ground, Chauvin used a “pain-loving technique” of squeezing a suspect’s fingers and manipulating his hands; once the suspect complies with orders, the pain subsides. Chauvin appeared to continue to squeeze, despite Floyd no longer resisting, and “so at that point it’s just pain,” Stiger said.
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