Minneapolis Police Chief Condemns Derek Chauvin's Use of Force on George Floyd

Police Chief Testifies Ex-Officer Violated Policy

The trial of Derek Chauvin is set to resume on Tuesday, a day after the Minneapolis police chief testified that the police officer clearly violated department policy when he pinned Floyd's neck beneath his knee for more than 9 minutes.

Mercil also testified that circumstances can change minute to minute; that a suspect can go from being compliant and peaceful to violent, and he agreed all those considerations play a part in the use of force.

Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death in May.

Mr Chauvin is on trial for murder and has denied the charges against him. Dr. Bradford Langenfeld's testimony came as the second week of former police officer Derek Chauvin's murder trial got underway.

As police officers are rarely convicted or charged at all for deaths that occur in custody, the verdict in this trial is being seen as an indication of how the U.S. legal system will treat such cases in future.

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".

Under questioning from Nelson, Yang testified that people watching an arrest may also be in crisis and that officers have to take in the situation around them as well.

"It can be easily confused with real breathing, so that's why we teach 'This is not effective breathing, ' " Mackenzie said.

What did the training experts say?

When shown a photo of Mr. Chauvin atop Mr. Floyd, Mr. Mercil testified that Mr. Chauvin's use of his knee on Mr. Floyd's neck isn't taught by the department.

He said officers are trained to put their knee across a suspect's back or shoulders and use their weight to restrain them, but we "tell officers to stay away from the neck when possible".

Defence attorney Eric Nelson left and Chauvin are seen in Hennepin County District Court on Tuesday
Defence attorney Eric Nelson left and Chauvin are seen in Hennepin County District Court on Tuesday

Mr Mercil testified that based on the training that officers receive, Mr Chauvin should only have used that manner of neck restraint if there was "active aggression" involved.

"Initially, when Mr. Floyd was being placed in the back seat of the vehicle he was actively resisting the officers". The doctor pointed to the drugs in Floyd's system as well as the delay in CPR efforts, which both could have contributed to his death.

Sgt Jody Stiger, a use of force expert for the Los Angeles Police Department, testified that officers were initially justified in their actions because Mr Floyd was "actively resisting" arrest as he was being placed in the patrol auto. "So, at that point, officers were justified to use force to try to have him comply with their commands", Stiger said.

Arradondo, the city's first Black chief, fired Chauvin and three other officers the day after Floyd's death.

As jurors watched in rapt attention and scribbled notes, Arradondo testified not only that Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the force, should have let Floyd up sooner, but that the pressure on Floyd's neck did not appear to be light to moderate, as called for under the department's neck-restraint policy; that Chauvin failed in his duty to render first aid before the ambulance arrived; and that he violated policy requiring officers to de-escalate tense situations with no or minimal force if they can.

The use of force, as it is known, lies at the heart of the prosecutors' strategy.

Cahill decided that most questions Nelson wanted to ask could incriminate Hall.

Defence attorney Eric Nelson, left, and Chauvin are seen in Hennepin County District Court on Tuesday.

The county medical examiner ruled Floyd's death a homicide at the hands of the police, and noted Floyd had also taken the fentanyl and methamphetamine before his death.

During that time, Morries Lester Hall, a key witness who was with George Floyd on the day he died, will appear remotely from the Hennepin County jail.

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