George Floyd Trial: Expert says Chauvin did not have to use force


A national expert on the proper use of force by police testified Wednesday that former Minneoli officer Derek Chauvin did not have to kneel on George Floyd’s neck once he was handcuffed and lying down.

Read more on George Floyd Trial: Expert says Chauvin did not have to use force…


A national expert on the proper use of force by police testified Wednesday that former Minneoli officer Derek Chauvin did not have to kneel on George Floyd’s neck once he was handcuffed and lying down.

Sergeant Jody Stiger, of the Los Angeles Police Department, appeared as a prosecutor’s witness at Chauvin’s murder trial and gave testimony alleging that the defendant disregarded his education during his fatal arrest of the 46-year-old black man last May.

Stiger told jurors that Floyd posed no imminent threat and did not actively oppose when Chauvin used lethal violence on him by holding his neck to the ground for more than nine minutes.

“In my opinion, violence was not appropriate in this position,” Stiger testified. “The pressure from body weight … could cause positional suffocation and death.”

Floyd’s death, featured on videos widely on social media, sparked protests against racism and police brutality in many cities in the United States and around the world.

Chauvin, who is white, pleaded not guilty of murder and manslaughter, arguing that he received the training he received during his 19 years with the police. Three other local officials were charged with complicity in murder and will be on trial later this year.

Chauvin and the three other officers tried to arrest Floyd on suspicion of using a forged $ 20 bill to buy cigarettes from a grocery store. They were fired the day after the incident.

Stiger, who has examined 2,500 police cases of violence, resumed his testimony after first surfacing Tuesday.

Attorney Steve Schleicher asked him to describe several photos showing officers holding Floyd back. Stiger testified that Chauvin’s use of force was excessive.

“He was handcuffed, tried not to resist, did not try to attack, kick and beat officers,” Stiger said of Floyd.

Stiger testified that Chauvin squeezed Floyd’s hand to get him to obey the officer’s instructions while handcuffed in the prone position, and that Floyd had no opportunity to obey.

“At that point it was just pain,” said Stiger.

“Must be proportional”

When asked by defense attorney Eric Nelson, Stiger agreed that a police officer had to consider various factors in a fluid situation when considering violence.

“It has to be proportional,” said Stiger. “You keep re-evaluating throughout the timeframe.”

Stiger also agreed with Nelson that Chauvin encountered a situation where a suspect actively protested against officers who tried to put him in a police car when people in a crowd insulted them and presented a “potential threat”.

Nelson showed Stiger photos taken at various times in the incident showing Chauvin with his knee on Floyd. Nelson asked Stiger if he would agree that Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s shoulder blades rather than the back of his neck.

“It seems more over the shoulder blades than over the shoulder blades,” Stiger testified, disagreeing with Nelson.

The prosecution then called three investigators from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Prehension, including Senior Special Agent James Reyerson, an expert on violence and the lead investigator on the case.

Part of Reyerson’s testimony concerned the investigation of the police patrol car and Floyd’s Mercedes-Benz vehicle.

Reyerson testified that six months after the incident, Chauvin’s attorneys re-examined the police car and found it was later to be pills with Floyd’s DNA on it. During his opening speech at the trial, Chauvin’s defense team said the pills contained methamphetamine with fentanyl.

Reyerson agreed with Nelson that on video of the incident it sounded like Floyd said he “ate too many drugs”. But while more questions were later asked by the prosecutor, Reyerson agreed that it sounded like Floyd was saying, “I don’t do drugs.”

Later that day, McKenzie Anderson, a forensic scientist with the office, commented on the collection of tablets from vehicles during the investigation, including whole and partial tablets from the police patrol car.

She testified that Floyd’s blood was found in the back of the patrol car and that the pills found in the vehicle had saliva that matched Floyd’s DNA.

.

COMMENTS