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George Floyd: Police Use of Force Instructor Says Derek Chauvin’s Kneeling Is Not Trained Restraint


“We don’t train leg restraints with serving officers, and as far as I know we never have,” Lt. Johnny Mercil said.

Mercil’s testimony came as a series of police experts testified adequate training, thus explicitly and implicitly highlighting Chauvin’s actions on May 25, 2020.

While neck ties may be allowed on suspects who are actively resisting, they should not be done with the knee and would not be allowed on a suspect who is handcuffed and under control, he said. Officers learn to use only force proportional to the threat.

“You want to use the least amount of force necessary to achieve your goals,” Mercil said. “If you can use a lower level of force to achieve your goals, it’s safer and better for everyone involved.”

He also said handcuffed suspects may have difficulty breathing on their stomachs. He said officers are trained to move suspects to a lateral recovery position – “the sooner the better”.

However, Mercil said during cross-examination that Chauvin’s position could be seen as “using body weight to control,” a tactic in which officers place a knee on the shoulder blades of a lying suspect to handcuff them. He admitted that some police body camera screenshots show Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s shoulders.

“However, I will add that we tell officers to stay away from the neck when possible, and if you are going to use your body weight for pinning, put it on their shoulder and pay attention to their position.” , did he declare.

Mercil said the position is transitional and is supposed to end once the suspect is under control.

In addition to Mercil, a Crisis Response Training Coordinator and Police CPR Instructor each testified that officers are required to defuse situations and assist those in distress.

Together, their testimony goes to the heart of the defense argument that Chauvin “did exactly what he was trained to do” when he held Floyd. Prosecutors sought to show that he used excessive and unreasonable force against Floyd and that he had a “depraved mind” with no regard for human life.

Chauvin, 45, pleaded not guilty to second degree murder, third degree murder and third degree manslaughter. Defense attorney Eric Nelson has not indicated whether Chauvin will testify in his own defense.

Testimony in the trial began last Monday and is expected to last about a month.

The focus on police policy is a change from the first week of the trial, which focused on what happened to Floyd on the last day. The testimony included video of a multitude of cell phones, surveillance cameras and police cameras; testimony from spectators in distress; descriptions of paramedics and police supervisors who responded to the scene; and Chauvin’s own statements about what happened.

Use of force expert says arrest was excessive

A Los Angeles Police Department sergeant hired by the prosecution as a use of force expert said Tuesday that Chauvin and his fellow officers used excessive force to arrest Floyd last May.

LAPD Sgt. Jody Stiger, who said he had conducted more than 2,500 use of force reviews, said officers were initially justified in using force when Floyd actively resisted arrest and refused to get into the car. ‘team. Floyd also kicked officers when he was first taken to the ground, body camera video shows. The circumstances then changed.

“However, once he was placed in a prone position on the ground, he slowly ceased to resist and at that point the former officers should have slowed down or stopped their force as well,” Stiger said.

He said his opinion was based on the standard of what an “objectively reasonable” officer would do. The advisory took into account the low gravity of Floyd’s underlying crime – allegedly using a fake $ 20 bill – as well as his actions, the MPD’s policies and what agents knew at the time.

“They should have defused the situation, or attempted to do so,” Stiger said. Instead, “they continued the force they were using from the moment they first brought him down.”

His testimony will continue on Wednesday.

Training coordinators explain agent requirements

George Floyd: Police Use of Force Instructor Says Derek Chauvin’s Kneeling Is Not Trained Restraint

The training coordinator for the Minneapolis Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Program testified on Tuesday about the importance of recognizing when someone is in a crisis and defusing the situation.

“The policy demands that when it is safe and feasible, we must defuse it,” said Sgt. Ker Yang, who has worked in the department for 24 years.

Officers are trained in a critical decision-making model for dealing with people in crisis that calls on them to continually assess and reassess what is needed in the situation, he said. Chauvin took a 40-hour crisis response training course in 2016, in which actors portrayed people in crisis and officers had to defuse the situation, Yang testified.

George Floyd: Police Use of Force Instructor Says Derek Chauvin’s Kneeling Is Not Trained Restraint

In cross-examination, Yang said the crisis response model could potentially apply to the suspect as well as nearby observers. The training advises officers to appear confident, stay calm, keep space, speak slowly and softly, and avoid staring or making eye contact, he said.

Also on Tuesday, a Minneapolis Police Medical Support Coordinator and a CPR instructor testified that officers are required to provide first aid and request emergency services when someone needs medical help.

“If it’s a critical situation, you have to do both,” Officer Nicole Mackenzie said.

The department trains officers to determine the responsiveness level of a person in need of assistance. If the person does not respond, then the agent should check their airway, breathing and circulation, and if the person has no pulse, the agent should begin CPR immediately.

She also said that it was not correct to say that if someone could speak, then they could breathe.

“It would be incomplete,” Mackenzie said. “Just because they speak doesn’t mean they breathe properly.”

In cross-examination, she said that a hostile crowd can make it difficult to focus on a patient.

“If you don’t feel safe around you, if you don’t have enough resources, it’s very difficult to focus on the one thing in front of you,” she said.

Their testimony comes a day after Chief Medaria Arradondo completely rejected Chauvin’s decision to kneel on Floyd’s neck – who was handcuffed and in a prone position – for more than 9 minutes.

“It is by no means a form or a form that falls under politics. It is not part of our training, and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values,” said Arradondo.

Floyd’s vehicle passenger plans to plead fifth

Morries Hall, who was in the car with Floyd when police first confronted them last May, appeared in court via Zoom on Tuesday before the jury arrived to discuss his intention to plead the fifth s. he is called to testify at the trial.

The prosecution and the defense called Hall as a witness. Nelson said he planned to question Hall about his interactions with Floyd that day, their alleged use of a counterfeit ticket, whether he had given Floyd any medication and his statements to police about Floyd’s behavior. in the vehicle.

George Floyd: Police Use of Force Instructor Says Derek Chauvin’s Kneeling Is Not Trained Restraint

Hall’s attorney Adrienne Cousins ​​argued he planned to use Fifth Amendment law against self-incrimination, and she asked Judge Peter Cahill to quash his subpoena. Cousins ​​said she was concerned Hall’s testimony could be used in a drug or third degree murder charge against him.

“This leaves Mr. Hall potentially incriminating himself in a future third degree murder prosecution,” Cousins ​​told Cahill, noting that the murder law allows the prosecution of someone who supplied drugs leading to an overdose.

Judge Cahill said any questions about possible wrongdoing would not be allowed, but he said he would be willing to allow specific questions about Floyd’s behavior in the vehicle that day. He has asked Nelson to draft specific questions on this point, which will be forwarded to Hall and his attorneys and discussed at a future hearing.

Hall’s testimony could be critical to the defense, which argued that Floyd’s cause of death was a mix of drug use and pre-existing health issues.

Hall is currently being held on unrelated charges of domestic violence, domestic assault by strangulation and violation of a protection order.

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