MINNEAPOLIS – An expert witness was due to return to the courtroom on Wednesday in the murder trial of former policeman Derek Chauvin to face more questions about why he determined Chauvin’s use of force against George Floyd was “excessive”.
Sgt. Jody Stiger, an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department who conducted around 2,500 use of force reviews during his career, said the initial use of force on Floyd that day was appropriate because Floyd was resisting upon arrest as officers attempted to get him into their patrol car.
However, after officers forced Floyd to the ground, “they should have defused the situation,” Stiger told jurors on Tuesday. Instead, the officers continued to escalate the situation, he said.
Meanwhile, Rodney Floyd said his brother’s last words from the videos repeatedly shown in the courtroom replaced his memory of their last conversation, in which they remembered their late mother. “When someone dies you cherish their last words, but my brother’s last words, oh those words are stuck in my head. Anguish,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
Floyd, a black man, died in police custody on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin, who is white, pinned his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. Chauvin is charged with second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter.
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- Witness testimony was scheduled to resume after 9:15 a.m. (Paris time) on Wednesday.
- Fourteen jurors – 12 to deliberate and two to sit as substitutes – have heard from 26 prosecution witnesses over the past week and a half.
- The EMT, which runs the Minneapolis Police Department’s emergency medical response training, said Tuesday officers are trained to call an ambulance and provide medical assistance if a situation is “critical.” The agents who responded to Floyd did not render medical attention.
- Minneapolis Police Lt. Johnny Mercil, a use of force expert, received an image of Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck on Tuesday and told jurors the move was not a trained neck restraint. by the department.
- George Floyd’s brothers, family lawyer Ben Crump, national civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton and Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother, held a prayer service outside the courthouse on Tuesday after- midday.
Expert witness Sgt. Jody Stiger says Chauvin’s use of force was ‘excessive’
Prosecutors called Sgt. Jody Stiger of the Los Angeles Police Department as an expert witness. Stiger has trained approximately 6,000 officers on de-escalation, basic patrol tactics and other topics.
Stiger told jurors that after reviewing the case, he determined that Chauvin’s use of force was “excessive.” He said he uses the “objectively reasonable” standard established in the 1989 United States Supreme Court case, Graham v. Connor.
Prosecutor Steve Schleicher led Stiger through the factors used to support this opinion, starting with a photo of Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck.
Stiger said he also looked at the seriousness of the alleged breach, in this case, by trying to pass a fake $ 20 bill. In such a case, “you wouldn’t even expect to use any force,” Stiger said.
Next, Stiger said he looked at the threat posed by Floyd. In some cases, the subject’s height and stature may be relevant in assessing the use of force. But Stiger testified that it is not appropriate to use force against someone simply because of their larger size.
He also said that it was “not necessarily” necessary for officers to use force to get Floyd into the car. A cop had made some connection with Floyd, and the cops could have used it to try and get Floyd into the car, Stiger said. After watching a video replay from an officer’s body camera, Stiger admitted that Floyd kicked the officer’s arms as they struggled to control him.
EMT Nicole Mackenzie: Officers should call an ambulance and provide assistance if the situation is ‘critical’
Minneapolis Police Department officer Nicole Mackenzie, a paramedic and the department’s medical support coordinator, told jurors officers are required to administer medical assistance and call an ambulance if a situation is “critical”.
Mackenzie said officers receive CPR training every two years. Prosecutor Steve Schleicher displayed the CPR cards issued to Chauvin to show he had the necessary training.
Mackenzie said ministry policy requires officers to check the pulse and give and continue CPR until an older person is on the scene with advanced training, there are obvious signs death or until the officer is completely exhausted.
Asked by District Attorney Steve Schleicher whether someone who speaks is still able to breathe, Mackenzie said, “Just because they talk doesn’t mean they breathe properly.”
In cross-examination by defense attorney Eric Nelson, MacKenzie acknowledged that certain situations can prevent an officer from calling EMS. Her testimony was cut short as the defense said it planned to call her back, as early as next Tuesday, in their case.
Sgt. Johnny Mercil, use of force instructor: officers failed to learn to put their knees on their necks
Minneapolis Police Lt. Johnny Mercil, who leads the training division’s use of force classes and taught a class Derek Chauvin attended in October 2018, told jurors on Tuesday that an image Fixed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck was not a restraint taught to Minneapolis Police Department officers.
Mercil said using a knee on the neck or back may be a permitted use of force, but is generally transient and depends on the time frame and type of resistance. If the subject is handcuffed and does not resist, it is not allowed, Mercil said.
“There is the possibility and the risk that some people will have trouble breathing when they are handcuffed (on the back) and on their stomach,” Mercil said. One person is rolled onto their side to avoid positional asphyxiation, Mercil said. The officer should refer the person to this position “the sooner the better”, although he noted that this depends on the situation and the environment.
Asked by Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson, Mercil admitted that use of force techniques do not have a strict application in all cases and that officers learn to be fluid and react to the circumstances they face. . Mercil also agreed under questioning that some people are making excuses to avoid being arrested, and that he had suspects say “I can’t breathe” as he tried to stop them. Read more.