Crime Minneapolis officers line up to reject Chauvin's actions
Derek Chauvin used force against arrestees 6 other times. The jury in the George Floyd case won't hear about them.
Prosecutors tried to introduce six incidents in which they say Derek Chauvin used unreasonable force on people. The judge didn't allow them.The jury considering murder and manslaughter charges against Chauvin won't hear about any of them. And their verdict may be influenced as much by what they don't know as what they do.
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 doingwhen he put his knee on last May.
Derek Chauvin trial: A week of emotional and potentially devastating testimony surrounding George Floyd's death
Pain, trauma and regret spilled out from a Minneapolis courtroom during a first week of critical testimony in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who knelt on the neck of George Floyd. © Pool Minneapolis Police Lt. Richard Zimmerman said Chauvin's actions after Floyd was handcuffed and in a prone position were "uncalled for" and "totally unnecessary." The week concluded with potentially devastating testimony from the police department's most senior officer, who called Chauvin's actions on the day of Floyd's death "totally unnecessary.
Several experienced officers, including, have testified that Floyd should not have been kept pinned to the pavement for close to 9 1/2 minutes by prosecutors’ reckoning as the Black man lay face-down, his hands cuffed behind his back.
According to testimony and records submitted Tuesday, Chauvin took a 40-hour course in 2016 on how to recognize people in crisis — including those suffering mental problems or the effects of drug use — and how to use de-escalation techniques to calm them down.
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
Sgt. Ker Yang, the Minneapolis police official in charge of crisis-intervention training, said officers are taught to “slow things down and re-evaluate and reassess.”
Records show Chauvin also underwent training in the use of force in 2018. Mercil said those who attended were taught that the sanctity of life is a cornerstone of departmental policy and that officers must use the leastrequired to get a suspect to comply.
Under cross-examination by Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson, Mercil testified that officers are trained in some situations to use their knee across a suspect’s back or shoulder and employ their body weight to maintain control.
Medical witnesses clash with defense over George Floyd's death
Medical personnel from various backgrounds have testified in Derek Chauvin's trial, painting a grave picture of George Floyd's last moments. Paramedics found Floyd had no pulse upon arriving at the scene, and a respiratory expert said even a healthy person would have died under the restraints Chauvin used on Floyd.
But Mercil added: “We tell officers to stay away from the neck when possible.”
Nelson has argued that the now-fired white officer “did exactly what he had been trained to do over his 19-year career,” and he has suggested that the illegal drugs in Floyd’s system and hisare what killed him, not Chauvin’s knee.
In fact, Nelson sought to point out moments in the video footage when he said Chauvin’s knee did not appear to be on Floyd’s neck.
Nelson showed Mercil several images taken from officers’ body-camera videos, asking after each one whether it showed Chauvin’s knee appearing to rest more on Floyd’s back, shoulder or shoulder blades than directly on Floyd’s neck. Mercil often agreed.
'Blue wall of silence' takes hit in Chauvin's murder trial
Police accused of wrongdoing can usually count on the blue wall of silence — protection from fellow officers that includes everything from shutting off body cameras to refusing to cooperate with investigators. But that's not the case with Derek Chauvin, with many colleagues quick to condemn his actions in George Floyd's death, some even taking the stand against him. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified that Chauvin’s kneeling on the handcuffed Floyd's neck was “in no way, shape or form” in line with department policy or training. Homicide detective Lt. Richard Zimmerman testified, “If your knee is on a person’s neck, that can kill him.
Nelson acknowledged the images were difficult to make out. They were taken at different moments during Floyd’s arrest, starting about four minutes after he was first pinned to the ground, according to time stamps on the images.
In other testimony, Jody Stiger, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant serving as a prosecution use-of-force expert, said officers were justified in using force while Floyd was resisting their efforts to put him in a squad car. But once he was on the ground and stopped resisting, “at that point the officers … should have slowed down or stopped their force as well.”
Stiger said that after reviewing video of the arrest, "my opinion was that the force was excessive.”
Derek Chauvin's defense is using these 3 arguments to try to get an acquittal in George Floyd's death
In opening statements and cross-examinations, Chauvin's defense has focused on three main arguments: the "other causes" theory, the "force Is unattractive" theory and the "hostile crowd" theory.A doctor and members of Floyd's family are still expected to testify for the prosecution before they give the defense an opportunity to call witnesses, which could come early this week. Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.
Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death May 25. Floyd, 46, was arrested outside a neighborhood market after being accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. A panicky-sounding Floyd writhed and claimed to be claustrophobic as police tried to put him in the squad car.
Bystander video of Floyd crying that he couldn’t breathe as onlookers yelled at Chauvin to get off him sparked protests around the U.S. that descended into violence in some cases.
Instead of closing ranks to protect a fellow officer behind what has been dubbed the “blue wall of silence,” some of theof the Minneapolis force have taken the stand to openly condemn Chauvin’s actions as excessive.
Chauvin had been certified to perform CPR, and Minneapolis Officer Nicole Mackenzie, who trains members of the force in, testified Tuesday that department policy required him to start aid before paramedics arrived, if possible.
Officers kept restraining Floyd — with Chauvin kneeling on his neck, another kneeling on Floyd’s back and a third holding his feet —, even after he became unresponsive, according to testimony and video footage.
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.
The officers also rebuffed offers of help from anwho wanted to administer aid or tell officers how to do it.
“Have you have ever had a circumstance where an individual hasand suddenly come back to life and become more violent?” prosecutor Steve Schleicher asked Mercil, suggesting that Floyd was held down long past the point where he might be a threat.
“Not that I’m aware of, sir,” Mercil replied.
Find AP’s full coverage of the death of George Floyd at: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-george-floyd
Webber reported from Fenton, Mich.
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.