Key witness in Floyd murder trial seeks to avoid testifying

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Minneapolis police are taught to restrain combative suspects with a knee on their back or shoulders if necessary but are told to "stay away from the neck when possible", a department use-of-force instructor testified Tuesday at former Officer Derek Chauvin's murder trial.

Mr Chauvin faces three charges over the death of Mr Floyd last May.

A key witness in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin invoked the Fifth Amendment.

The police chief told the court Mr Chauvin's extended use of restraint 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".

Stiger said officers were justified in using force initially as Floyd resisted their efforts to put him into a police auto, but that once Floyd was on the ground and stopped resisting, the officers "should have slowed down or stopped their force as well".

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 auto.

"Not that I'm aware of, sir", Mercil replied.

The harrowing footage of Floyd's 25 May 2020 arrest touched off protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States and around the world.

Chauvin, 45, is charged with second and third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Floyd.


"Per policy, a neck restraint is compressing one or both sides of the neck, using an arm or a leg".

Mercil agreed with Nelson that an officer could hold a neck restraint after rendering someone unconscious if they had to wait on another officer to arrive.

Mr Mercil told the court that officers are trained to use force in proportion to a suspect's level of resistance and it was "very important to be careful with the person", especially when dealing with sensitive parts of the body like the head and neck.

Officer Nicole Mackenzie, who trained officers including Chauvin in how and when to perform CPR, also testified.

Yang, who is in charge of training officers to handle crises, said Chauvin was trained in techniques to de-escalate such situations.

She told the jury that if officers can not find a pulse on a subject, they are taught to immediately begin CPR and to administer first aid if they encounter a medical emergency.

The friend, Morries Hall, was in the auto with Floyd when police arrived.

Chauvin's lawyer Eric Nelson confirmed he wanted to ask if Hall sold or gave Floyd drugs.

Cahill gave Nelson until Thursday to draft potential questions. An autopsy conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner found fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system.

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