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Expert: Derek Chauvin never took the knee off George Floyd’s neck

“That’s right,” replied Stiger, who said on Tuesday the force used against Floyd was excessive.

Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, sought to point out moments in the video footage where, he said, Chauvin’s knee did not appear to be on Floyd’s neck but on his shoulder blade area or base of his neck. Stiger didn’t give much ground, saying the officer’s knee in some of the disputed photos still appeared to be close to Floyd’s neck.

In another testimony, senior Minnesota state investigator on the case, James Reyerson, agreed with Nelson that Floyd appeared to be saying in a video of his arrest by the police corps camera, “I have ate too many drugs.

But when a prosecutor released a longer clip of the video, Reyerson said he believed what Floyd really said was “I don’t do drugs.”

Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death on May 25. Floyd, 46, was arrested outside a neighborhood market after being charged with attempting to pass a fake $ 20 bill. A panicked Floyd struggled and pretended to be claustrophobic as the police attempted to put him in a patrol car, and they nailed him to the sidewalk.

Video of Floyd bystander crying he couldn’t breathe as spectators yelled at Chauvin to leave him sparked protests and dispersed violence in the United States and triggered a judgment on racism and police brutality .

Nelson argued that the now-fired white officer “had done exactly what he was trained to do in his 19-year career,” and suggested that Floyd’s drug use and his under-health problems. underlying is what killed him, not Chauvin’s knee, as prosecutors argue. Both fentanyl and methamphetamine have been found in Floyd’s system.

On Wednesday, Chauvin’s lawyer questioned Stiger about uses of force that are commonly described by police as “lawful but horrific.” Stiger admitted that “you may have a situation where by law it looks horrible to the common eye, but based on state law it is legal.”

Nelson also argued that officers at the scene were distracted by what they perceived to be an increasingly hostile crowd of spectators.

But Stiger told the jury, “I didn’t see them as a threat,” even though some onlookers were insulting and used foul language. He added that most of the screaming was due to “their concern for Mr. Floyd”.

Nelson’s voice rose as he asked Stiger how a reasonable officer would be trained to see a crowd while dealing with a suspect, “and someone else is now pacing up and looking at you, watching you.” , calls you and says (swear words). ” Nelson said such a situation “could be viewed by a reasonable officer as a threat.”

“As a potential threat, that’s okay,” Stiger said.

Chauvin’s attorney noted that dispatchers described Floyd as between 6 feet and 6 feet 6 inches and possibly under the influence. Stiger agreed that it was reasonable for Chauvin to come to the scene with a strong sense of conscience.

Stiger further agreed with Nelson that an officer’s actions should be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer at the scene, not retrospectively. Among other things, Nelson said that given typical EMS response times, it was reasonable for Chauvin to believe paramedics would be here soon.

In another testimony, Stiger said that while Floyd was pinned to the ground, Chauvin squeezed Floyd’s fingers and pulled one of his wrists towards his handcuffs, a technique that uses pain to get someone to pull themselves together. comply, but Chauvin didn’t seem to let go while Floyd was restrained.

“Then at this point it’s just pain,” Stiger said.

Prosecutors arrested and started videos during the testimony of Reyerson, the state’s lead investigator, in an attempt to show the jury how long Chauvin held his post. Reyerson testified that Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s neck for two minutes after Floyd stopped speaking and for two minutes after Floyd stopped moving.

Prosecutors asked Stiger if Chauvin had an obligation to consider Floyd’s distress as the officer considered what force to use.

“Absolutely,” Stiger replied. “Over time, clearly in the video, you could see that Mr. Floyd’s health… was deteriorating. His breath was diminishing. His tone of voice diminished. His movements were starting to stop.

“So at that point, as an officer there,” he continued, “you have a responsibility to realize that ‘OK, something is wrong. Something has radically changed from what happened before. So you have a responsibility to take some type of action. “

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