Police Expert Testifies About Medical Support In Trial Of Derek Chauvin

Police Expert Testifies About Medical Support In Trial Of Derek Chauvin

Lieutenant Johnny Mercil, a use-of-force instructor in the Minneapolis police department, tells the trial court Derek Chauvin was not following protocol when he used his leg as a neck restraint on George Floyd a year ago.

In this image from video, Morries Hall appeared via video as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill discussed motions before the court Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn.

Today a police chief has testified that the force used during Mr Floyd's arrest was a "direct violation" of police conduct. The white officer is accused of pinning his knee on the 46-year-old man's neck for nine minutes, 29 seconds, as Floyd lay face-down in handcuffs outside a corner market, where had been accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill for a pack of cigarettes.

Prosecutors are seeking to prove that Floyd's death was due to asphyxiation, while Chauvin's defense claims it was due to illegal drugs in Floyd's system.

Prosecutor Steve Schleicher showed jurors a composite image of five photos taken from various videos of the arrest.

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

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.

Nelson also questioned Mercil about safety precautions officers need to take when using neck restraints and body weight to restrain individuals.

No witnesses at the scene were arrested, and several of them have testified that they urged officers to check Mr Floyd's pulse and provide him with medical care.

In this image from video Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill discusses motions before the court Tuesday

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

Floyd's treatment by the white officer was captured on widely seen bystander video that sparked protests around the USA that descended into violence in some cases.

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

Hall's lawyer said "there's an allegation here that Mr Floyd ingested a controlled substance as police were removing him from the auto".

As witnesses and law enforcement officials take the stand each day in the trial of Chauvin, members of Floyd's family have gathered in Minneapolis, awaiting testimony this week that will look at his cause of death and autopsy.

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 to openly condemn Chauvin's actions as excessive.

Arrondondo said continuing to kneel on Floyd's neck once he was handcuffed behind his back and lying on his belly 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".

The city moved soon after Floyd's death to ban police chokeholds and neck restraints.

The officers also rebuffed offers of help from an off-duty Minneapolis firefighter who wanted to administer aid or tell officers how to do it.

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