Testimony Focuses on Police Training in Derek Chauvin Murder Trial

Thursday, 08 Apr, 2021

In America it's the seventh day of the murder trial of the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin who is accused of killing George Floyd last summer.

Los Angeles Police Department Sergeant Jody Stiger appeared as a prosecution witness at Chauvin's murder trial, offering testimony meant to show that the defendant disregarded his training when he knelt on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes last May.

Chauvin, who is white, has argued he followed police training when he kept his knee pushed into Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes on May 25, 2020, as the handcuffed 46-year-old Black man fell limp and stopped breathing.

While cross-examining use-of-force expert LAPD Sgt. Jody Stiger, defense attorney Eric Nelson showed body camera video of George Floyd. There have also been indications that Hall might have been the source of a counterfeit $20 bill that Floyd tried to pass. They were fired the day after the incident.

Stiger, who has reviewed 2,500 cases in which police used force, resumed his testimony after first appearing on Tuesday.

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 vehicle.

He said that if officers are applying handcuffs on someone in a prone position, they are taught to use a knee on the person's shoulder to isolate the arm.

Floyd's girlfriend, Courteney Ross, testified last Thursday that she and Floyd had bought drugs from Hall.

"And the pressure. being caused by (Chauvin's) body weight could cause positional asphyxia, which could cause death", Stiger said, after being shown images of Chauvin's actions.

Under questioning from Nelson, Yang testified that people watching an arrest may also be in crisis and that officers have to take in the situation around them as well.

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Sergeant Ker Yang, a crisis intervention training coordinator, testified that Chauvin completed 40 hours of training on dealing with suspects going through a crisis.

"When we talk about fast-evolving situations. a lot of the time we have the time to slow things down and reevaluate and reassess and go through this model", Yang said.

Mr. Nelson, who has repeatedly portrayed the crowd of onlookers as an obstacle to the treatment of Mr. Floyd, asked her if an unruly crowd might make it hard for an officer to assess whether a person was in medical distress and even make it unsafe to begin medical treatment.

"It has to be proportional", Stiger said. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails.

On Stiger's first day on the stand, on Tuesday, he said police were justified in using force while Floyd was resisting their efforts to put him in the squad vehicle.

Nelson showed Stiger photographs taken at different times of the incident showing Chauvin with his knee on Floyd.

She said that Mr Chauvin, who had been a police officer for 19 years, would have been trained to use one or two arms - not his knee - in a neck restraint.

But Nelson was able to get Stiger to agree with a number of his propositions.

Prosecutors then called Senior Special Agent James Reyerson, an expert on the police use of force at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

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.