Crime Derek Chauvin's Use of Force Was 'In No Way, Shape or Form' Proper, Police Chief Testifies
Minneapolis officers line up to reject Chauvin's actions
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The parade of Minneapolis police officers rejecting a former officer’s actions in restraining George Floyd continued at his murder trial, including a use-of-force instructor who said officers were coached to “stay away from the neck when possible.” Lt. Johnny Mercil on Tuesday became the latest member of the Minneapolis force to take the stand as part of an effort by prosecutors to dismantle the argument that Derek Chauvin was doing what he was trained to do when he put his knee on George Floyd’s neck last May.
Derek Chauvin's defense in his trial for killinghas argued that he was simply following police protocol when he restrained Floyd, who repeatedly said "I can't breathe" as he lay handcuffed on the ground, by pressing a knee to Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.
On Monday, the Minneapolis police chief disavowed that use of force.
"Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting, and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped," Chief Medaria Arradondo testified in the ongoing trial for his former officer.
Defense set to take turn in ex-cop's trial in Floyd death
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The defense for a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd's death was set to start presenting its case Tuesday, following 11 days of a prosecution narrative that combined wrenching video with clinical analysis by medical and use-of-force experts to condemn Derek Chauvin's actions. Prosecutors called their final witnesses Monday, leaving only some administrative matters before they were expected to rest Tuesday. Once the defense takes over, Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson is expected to have his own experts testify that it was Floyd's drug use and bad heart, not Chauvin's actions, that killed him.
"There is an initial reasonableness in trying to just get him under control in the first few seconds," Arradondo said. "But once there was no longer any resistance and clearly when Mr. Floyd was no longer responsive and even motionless, to continue to apply that level of force to a person proned out, handcuffed behind their back -- that in no way, shape or form is anything that is by policy."
He added: "It is not part of our training, and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values."
Chauvin, 44, has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in the May 25 death of Floyd, 46, an incident watched bywho earlier testified about their in Chauvin's actions. The video they captured went viral and fueled outrage and protests worldwide against police brutality and racial injustice.
EXPLAINER: Judge lets jury decide Floyd's remark about drugs
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The judge overseeing the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer in the death of George Floyd said Monday that he'll leave it up to the jury to sort out whether Floyd yelled “I ate too many drugs” or “I ain’t do no drugs” as three officers pinned him to the ground. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill made the ruling as attorneys argued over whether to allow the testimony of a use-of-force expert for the prosecution, Seth Stoughton, a professor at the University of South Carolina Law School. Prosecutors wanted him to testify from an academic perspective on whether Chauvin used reasonable force and about national policing standards.
Both the Hennepin County medical examiner and a private pathologist hired by the Floyd family concluded that Floyd died by homicide. Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, has argued that it was not pressure applied by Chauvin to Floyd's neck that contributed to Floyd's death, but rather Floyd's history of underlying health conditions and drug use.
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Arradondo fired Chauvin and three other officers who were on the scene, where Floyd had been detained for allegedly spending a counterfeit $20 bill. And in his testimony, Arradondo allowed that while his department's policy permits neck restraint, its proper use called only for "light to moderate pressure."
Police chief: Fired cop broke policy in pinning Floyd
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis police chief who called George Floyd's death “murder” soon after it happened testified that Officer Derek Chauvin had clearly violated department policy when he pinned Floyd's neck beneath his knee for more than 9 minutes. Continuing to kneel on Floyd's neck once he was handcuffed behind his back and lying on his stomach was “in no way, shape or form” part of department policy or training, "and it is certainlyContinuing to kneel on Floyd's neck once he was handcuffed behind his back and lying on his stomach was “in no way, shape or form” part of department policy or training, "and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values,” Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Monday on D
"When I look at [the image] and when I look at the facial expression of Mr. Floyd," he told the court, "that does not appear in any way, shape or form that that is light to moderate pressure."
EXPLAINER: Why is 'excited delirium' cited at Chauvin trial?
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The attorney for the former Minneapolis police officer on trial in George Floyd ’s death revisited the disputed concept of excited delirium Tuesday in an effort to show that the force Derek Chauvin used was objectively reasonable given Floyd's resistance. Chauvin, 45, who is white, is charged with murder and manslaughter. Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was arrested outside a neighborhood market on May 25, accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. A panicky-sounding Floyd struggled and claimed to be claustrophobic as police tried to put him in a squad car.
Nelson countered that department policy still permitted an officer to decide what response was best for them in the moment. "Ultimately, it's not an all-inclusive list of considerations for the reasonableness of the use of force, agreed?," he asked Arradondo, who agreed.
Two other Minneapolis police officials testified Monday against Chauvin's use of force.
Inspector Katie Blackwell, who lead the department's training unit last year, reiterated that while neck restraints were permitted at the time, an officer should use only their arms in such positions. "I don't know what kind of improvised position that is," she testified, looking at a photo of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck. "That's not what we train."
EXPLAINER: Prosecution explores Floyd's 'spark of life'
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors trying a white former Minneapolis police officer in George Floyd’s death put one of Floyd’s brothers on the witness stand Monday in a further effort to humanize him for the jury and counter the defense narrative that Floyd was at least partially responsible for his own death due to his use of illegal drugs. Philonise Floyd, who has frequently occupied the Floyd family's sole seat in the socially distanced courtroom, was allowed to testify under a legal doctrine called “spark of life.
Lt. Richard Zimmerman, the head of the police homicide unit, testified that body camera footage from the officers on the scene suggested that Chauvin's actions were excessive.
"Pulling him down to the ground, face down, and putting your knee on the neck for that amount of time -- it's just uncalled for," Zimmerman said. "I saw no reason why the officers felt they were in danger, if that's what they felt, and that's what they would have to feel to be able to use that kind of force."
The three other officers on the scene — J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — all were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, and will be tried apart from Chauvin this summer. All have pleaded not guilty.
In the aftermath of Floyd's death the Minneapolis department banned chokeholds altogether. A measure working its way through Congress -- titled the, and already by the House of Representatives -- would further ban chokeholds by federal law enforcement, among other provisions.
Chauvin's trial is continuing.
Key takeaways from Day 8 of the Derek Chauvin trial .
Key takeaways from Day 8 of the Derek Chauvin trial in George Floyd's death Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jody Stiger -- a veteran use-of-force trainer, who is testifying as a paid expert witness for the prosecution -- said his review of video evidence in Floyd's arrested indicated that Chauvin was also using a "pain compliance technique" on Floyd's handcuffed left hand.