Former Police Officer Derek Chauvin used most of his weight to press his knee into George Floyd’s neck as Floyd lay face-down and handcuffed, a use-of-force expert testified Wednesday at Chauvin’s murder trial.
According to the Associated Press, Jody Stiger, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant, told jurors he reviewed the video footage of Chauvin and Floyd. He said Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for about nine and a half minutes.
“That particular force did not change during the entire restraint period?” prosecuting attorney Steve Schleicher asked.
“Correct,” Stiger said.
“My opinion was that the force was excessive,” Stiger asserted.
Chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter in the May 25 death of Floyd. Police apprehended Floyd for allegedly trying to use a counterfeit bill.
Tuesday, Stiger also testified that officers were justified to use force when Floyd resisted being placed in a police car. However, he added that officers “should have slowed down or stopped their force as well” when Floyd was on the ground and had stopped resisting.
Another police sergeant, Ker Yang, of the Minneapolis force, said officers are taught to “slow things down and reevaluate and reassess.”
Testimony and court records showed that Chauvin took a 40-hour course in 2016 on recognizing people in crisis and how to use de-escalation techniques.
In 2018, he also participated in training in use of force.
Lt. Johnny Mercil, a Minneapolis police use-of-force trainer, testified this week that use of force training includes an emphasis on the sanctity of life and that officers should use the least amount of force required.
Mercil also testified that officers are trained in some situations to use their knee across a person’s back or shoulder and use their body weight.
“We tell officers to stay away from the neck when possible,” he added.
Attorneys for Chauvin say he acted as he was trained, and the illegal drugs in Floyd’s system and his underlying health conditions caused the man’s death.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Brandon Bell/Staff
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.