Derek Chauvin trial: Use of force expert to testify on former officer’s knee on George Floyd’s neck
A use-of-force expert told Derek Chauvin’s murder trial that the former officer used “excessive” force when he knelt on George Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes.
Jody Stiger, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant, has been called by the prosecution to outline to the jury what type of force would have been appropriate for Mr Chauvin to use during Mr Floyd’s fatal arrest.
The trial has moved on from the emotional testimony of eye witnesses to a forensic examination of police training and tactics.
Sgt Stiger is due to return to the witness stand when testimony resumes in Minneapolis on Wednesday.
The prosecution have argued that Mr Chavin violated police protocol and used excessive force when he continued to pin Mr Floyd to the ground while he was handcuffed and not resisting arrest.
On Tuesday afternoon, Sgt Stiger said Mr Chauvin and the three other officers were justified in using force while Mr Floyd was resisting their efforts to put him in a police squad car.
But he said once the 46-year-old was on the ground and stopped resisting, “at that point the officers should have slowed down or stopped their force as well,” he told the jury.
Sgt Stiger said that after reviewing video of the arrest, “my opinion was that the force was excessive.”
Mr Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter in Mr Floyd’s death in south Minneapolis on May 25, 2020.
Mr Floyd was arrested outside a convenience store after being accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill.
Bystander footage of the unarmed black man pleading for air as he was pinned to the ground sparked a global outcry and a national reckoning over US policing.
No ‘blue wall’
Instead of closing ranks to protect a fellow officer behind what has been dubbed the “blue wall of silence,” some of the most experienced members of the Minneapolis force have taken the stand during the last few days to openly condemn Mr Chauvin’s actions.
Jurors in the trial learned that Mr Chauvin had been certified to perform CPR and was required to administer first aid to a suspect in distress under Minneapolis Police Department policy.
The defence contends that Mr Chauvin was doing “exactly” what he was trained to do in his 19-year career.
Mr Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, has argued the officers were distracted by a hostile group of bystanders and were using appropriate restraint on Mr Floyd.
‘We’ll breathe after conviction’
Outside court on Tuesday the Floyd’s family said they “will be able to breathe” when Mr Chauvin is convicted.