Minneapolis officers line up to reject Chauvin's actions

George Floyd arrest breached Minneapolis police policy, chief says in Derek Chauvin murder trial

Lt. Johnny Mercil, the Minneapolis Police Department's use-of-force instructor, testified on Tuesday at former Officer Derek Chauvin's trial that when officers are taught ways to restrain aggressive suspects, they are shown how to place their knee on a back or shoulder and told to "stay away from the neck when possible".

Mr Chauvin, 45, is charged with the murder and manslaughter of Mr Floyd's death. Chauvin's lawyer contends that Floyd, an African American, died from underlying health issues and that Chauvin followed his police training in the way in which the 46-year-old Floyd was arrested. He also said 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 if they can to avoid or minimize the use of force. In previous cases, police have been accused of closing ranks to protect fellow members.

Several experienced officers, including the police chief himself, have testified that Floyd should not have been kept pinned to the pavement for close to 9 1/2 minutes by prosecutors' reckoning as the Black man lay face-down, his hands cuffed behind his back. "At that point, the officers, ex-officers I should say, they should have slowed down or stopped their force as well".

"We talk about the framework of our sanctity of life and when we talk about our principles and the values that we have, that action goes contrary to what we are talking about", Chief Arradondo said.

Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, told Cahill he planned to ask Hall whether he gave Floyd any controlled substances and why Hall left Minnesota immediately after the incident.

A sergeant has admitted officers could have ended their restraint against George Floyd earlier than they did.

Prosecutor Steve Schleicher noted that while some people may become more unsafe under the influence of drugs or alcohol, some may actually be "more vulnerable".

Records show Chauvin also underwent training in the use of force in 2018.

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". He repeatedly said he was claustrophobic.

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

Residents of the community, and people around the world, have come together in calling for an end to police brutality after the death of George Floyd, who was killed while in Minneapolis police custody on May 25th.

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.

Mr Nelson granted that, occasionally, an officer might "look bad" while restraining a suspect, but the officer could still be following the law, and the policies, on the use of force.

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

Mr Nelson has suggested that onlookers, many of whom were shouting at Chauvin, might have affected officers' response.

But prosecutors quickly got Mr Arradondo to note that the clip played by Nelson depicted only the few seconds before Floyd was moved onto a stretcher.

Minneapolis police Inspector Katie Blackwell, commander of the training division at the time of Mr Floyd's death, agreed with the chief's assessment.

Steve Schleicher, one of prosecuting attorneys, showed Lieutenant Johnny Mercil, who teaches the proper use of force for the department, a photograph of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck and asked if he was using an authorized neck restraint under the circumstances.


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