A police training expert continued his testimony on Wednesday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis fired police officer accused of the death of George Floyd. The court resumed Wednesday morning with LAPD Sgt. Jody Stiger, a prosecution expert in tactics and de-escalation training, returning to the stand.
Stiger said Tuesday that in his opinion officers used excessive force against Floyd in the fatal arrest in May 2020.
“My opinion was that the force was excessive,” Stiger said.
Stiger said Floyd initially actively resisted officers when they attempted to get him into the police vehicle and at that point, he said, officers were justified in using force. However, once Floyd was handcuffed to the ground and ended his resistance, the former officers should have slowed down or stopped their force as well.
Chauvin, who has been seen in disturbing videos kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, is charged with second degree murder,and second degree manslaughter. He pleaded not guilty. The other three officers involved are accused of aiding and abetting, and are due to be tried jointly in August.
Earlier Tuesday, other Minneapolis police officials spoke. Lt. Johnny Mercil, who trains officers in the use of force and defensive tactics, said officers are trained to use as little force as possible to achieve a person’s compliance. He testified that officers were allowed at the time to use neck braces against people who were actively resisting, but he said the restraint used by Chauvin was not an authorized tactic. All neck ties haveby the department.
Mercil acknowledged that the ministry trains officers to place a knee on someone’s shoulder if they resist being handcuffed while lying down. Defense attorney Eric Nelson pointed to multiple body camera images that appeared to show Chauvin’s knee between Floyd’s shoulder blades.
This testimony came a day after Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Chauvin’s actions violated departmental policy.