The Minneapolis Police Department's coordinator on the use of force told jurors on Tuesday the neck restraint applied by former policeman Derek Chauvin in the deadly arrest of George Floyd was unauthorized and that officers are trained to use the least amount of force necessary.
Jurors on Day 7 of the murder trial of former policeman Derek Chauvin heard from Minneapolis Police Department training coordinators on Tuesday, including its use-of-force instructor.
PROSECUTOR STEVE SCHLEICHER: "Is this a MPD-authorized restraint technique?" Prosecutors tried to illustrate that Chauvin disregarded his training in the deadly arrest of George Floyd, showing the witness, Lieutenant Johnny Mercil, who teaches the proper use of force for the Minneapolis Police, an image of Chauvin kneeling on the neck of the handcuffed 46-year-old.
MERCIL: "Knee on the neck would be something that does happen -a use of force that isn't unauthorized." SCHLEICHER: "And under what circumstances would that be authorized?
How long can you do that?" MERCIL: "I don't know if there's a timeframe.
It would depend on the circumstances at the time." SCHLEICHER: "Which would include what?" MERCIL: "The type of resistance you're getting from the subject that you're putting a knee on." SCHLEICHER: "And so if there was, say, for example, the subject was under control and handcuffed, would this be authorized?" MERCIL: "I would say no." The defense tried to argue that the chaotic scene on May 25th of last year made real-time decisions extremely difficult.
DEFENSE LAWYER ERIC NELSON: "Ultimately, if that person were to be handcuffed and circumstances dictated, the officer would be permitted to continue to hold his knee in that same position.
Agreed?" MERCIL: "I would say, yes.
However, we've cautioned officers that be mindful of the neck area and to look for the shoulder." The MPD's crisis intervention and medical support coordinators also testified, as well as an outside use-of-force expert from the LAPD, who said he had closely examined Chauvin's actions during the deadly arrest.
SERGEANT JODY STIGER: "My opinion was that the force was excessive." Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges for Floyd's arrest on suspicion he used a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes.