Seventh day of Chauvin murder trial begins — George Floyd death

Elias Hubbard
Апреля 7, 2021

A Minneapolis Police Department use-of-force trainer testified in the trial of Derek Chauvin Tuesday and said the former officer was not following his training when he kept his knee on the neck of George Floyd for more than nine minutes.

Minneapolis Police Lieutenant Johnny Mercil testifies during Derek Chauvin's trial, in Minneapolis, Minn., on April 6, 2021. Today a police chief has testified that the force used during Mr Floyd's arrest was a "direct violation" of police conduct. The 46-year-old Black man was pinned to the pavement outside a neighbourhood market after being accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill for a pack of cigarettes.

Lt. Johnny Mercil, a Minneapolis police officer who trained Chauvin in proper use-of-force techniques, was shown a picture of Chauvin with his knee pressed into Floyd's neck during their fatal confrontation on May 25, 2020.

"I vehemently disagree that that was appropriate use of force for that situation on May 25", Arradondo testified on Monday.

Chauvin, who is white, has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges. The incident prompted protests in many cities around the United States and internationally against racism and police brutality. Mercil said those who attended were taught that the sanctity of life is a cornerstone of departmental policy and that officers must use the least amount of force required to get a suspect to comply.

"If you can use the least amount of force to meet your objectives, it is safer and better", Mercil testified.

On the sixth day of the trial into Mr Chauvin, the chief said his officer was responsible for multiple breaches of duty, namely: that he should have let Mr Floyd up sooner; that the pressure on Mr Floyd's neck did not appear to be light to moderate; that Mr 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.

Chauvin's lawyer, Eric Nelson, has argued that Chauvin "did exactly what he had been trained to do over his 19-year career" and that it was Floyd's use of illegal drugs and his underlying health conditions - not the officer's knee - that killed him.

Mercil agreed that if an officer is placing body weight with the knee on a person's neck and back that it would decrease their ability to breathe.

The city's police chief testified on Monday that Chauvin violated department rules and its ethics code while arresting Floyd. In this incident, Chauvin did not do so.

"Just because they're speaking doesn't mean they're breathing adequately", Mackenzie testified when a prosecutor asked if a person can speak if they cannot breath.

Mr Arradondo agreed and acknowledged that this must be taken into consideration when officers chose to use force.

Yang said police are trained to use principles such as neutrality, respect and trust in crisis intervention situations, and how to spot and interact with suspects going through a crisis.

Before the jury was brought into the court, Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill heard arguments on a request by a friend of Floyd to quash a subpoena by prosecutors for him to testify.

The friend, Morries Hall, was in the vehicle with Floyd when police arrived, setting the stage for the attempt to arrest Floyd.

On Tuesday, the lawyer for George Floyd's longtime friend Morries Lester Hall said he is pleading the Fifth, in fear of self-incrimination.

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

Floyd's girlfriend testified last week that she and Floyd struggled with opioid addiction, and that she thought Hall sometimes illegally sold pills to Floyd.

The judge said Hall should be able to testify on Floyd's condition in the vehicle and whether he fell asleep suddenly after possibly taking opioid pills. "So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to ask Mr. Nelson essentially to draft to in written question form, with the expected answer based on whatever statements were made, on what that would be".

But the county medical examiner's office ultimately classified Mr Floyd's death a homicide - a death caused by someone else.

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