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Use of force expert testifies: Derek Chauvin misused ‘lethal force’ on George Floyd

A police use of force expert testified in court on Wednesday that former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin inappropriately used “deadly force” against George Floyd the night Floyd died in May 2020.

Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jody Stiger said “no force” should have been used on Floyd after he was handcuffed and in a prone position. (The supine position occurs when a person is lying on their chest.)

He said Floyd did not appear to pose a threat to officers at the scene of his arrest during the 9 minutes and 29 seconds that Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck.

Floyd was in the “prone position, handcuffed without trying to resist, without attempting to assault the officers,” Stiger said in his assessment, adding that Floyd “was not actively resisting at the time” and that he “did” had also not communicated that he was trying to resist or escape them.

Stiger made the remarks on the eighth day of witness testimony in the Chauvin trial. Chauvin was charged with second and third degree murder as well as second degree manslaughter. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Stiger, based on his review of the video associated with the case and other relevant documents, said on Wednesday that Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes constituted “deadly force.”

“The pressure … that was caused by the body weight could cause positional asphyxiation, which could cause death,” Stiger told the court.

Positional asphyxia – an oxygen deficiency caused by the position of a person’s body – is a well-known risk to law enforcement, Stiger said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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