Derek Chauvin trial — live: Defence attorney claims officer’s knee wasn’t on George Floyd’s neck entire timeavril 7, 2021
Watch live as murder trial of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin continues
Several senior members of the Minneapolis police force have testified against Mr Chauvin this week in a damning indictment of the former officer’s actions, with police chief Medaria Arradondo telling the court on Monday that officer Chauvin should not have put his knee into George Floyd’s neck.
On Tuesday, Jody Stiger, a use of force expert from the Los Angeles Police Department, agreed, stating in testimony: “My opinion was that the force was excessive.”
Mr Stiger noted that officers initially had grounds to use force on Mr Floyd, since he was “actively resisting” arrest and flailing as officers tried to get him into a squad car.
“Initially when Mr Floyd was being put in the backseat of the vehicle, he was actively resisting the officers,” Mr Stiger testified.
“However, once he was placed in the prone position on the ground, he slowly ceased his resistance and at that point the ex-officers, they should have slowed down or stopped their force as well,” he added.
The jury is set to reconvene at 9:15am CT (3:15 UK) on Wednesday, as Mr Stiger returns to the witness stand for further questioning.
Check out The Independent’s live updates and analysis below.
Trial breaks for lunch
We’re going to have to wait to hear more from James Reyerson, an officer from Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, until the court gets back from its lunch break.
Mr Reyerson was part of the team of investigators who reviewed the George Floyd arrest as a “critical incident.”
Josh Marcus7 April 2021 18:27
Two major arguments have emerged so far today
Two big claims have emerged today in court, both totally different from the other.
Derek Chauvin’s lawyers have argued his knee wasn’t actually on George Floyd’s neck, while Jody Stiger, a use of force expert testifying for the state, says officers should’ve done more to provide medical care to Mr Floyd.
I’ve got more details here.
Josh Marcus7 April 2021 18:24
Now on the stand: James Reyerson
Next up is James Reyerson, an officer from Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Josh Marcus7 April 2021 18:09
LAPD use of force expert says officers should’ve realized ‘something is not right’ during Floyd arrest
Police should have realized “something is not right” with George Floyd and given him medical care as he began to fade away during his fatal arrest, Los Angeles Police Department use of force expert Jody Stiger testified on Wednesday.
“As the time went on, early in the video, you could see that Mr Floyd’s health was deteriorating,” Mr Stiger said. “His breath was getting lower. His tone of voice was getting lower. His movements were starting to cease at that point. As an officer on the scene, you have duty to realize something is not right. “
Officers, he explained, have a legal duty to provide medical care to those in their custody.
“Once you take someone into custody then you’re responsible for their care,” he said. “You’re obligated to as part of your duty.”
Josh Marcus7 April 2021 18:02
Trial scrutinizes photos of Derek Chauvin on top of George Floyd
The defence has returned to a line of argument it introduced yesterday: that Derek Chauvin’s knee may not have actually been on George Floyd’s neck
“A single photograph isn’t going to capture the dynamics of what’s happening,” attorney Eric Nelson said, arguing Mr Chauvin’s knee was closer to Mr Floyd’s shoulder blades.
The trial, however, doesn’t rely on a single photograph, as multiple bystanders recorded video of the incident at close range.
The result won’t come down to whether at one moment or the other Mr Chauvin’s knee was in a certain place, either. Instead, it’s about the totality of the circumstances, and whether Mr Chauvin’s response to those circumstances was legal and justified.
Josh Marcus7 April 2021 17:46
Crowds are ‘dynamic creatures,’ Derek Chauvin’s lawyer argues
Derek Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson is running through the various factors that can effect an officer’s “reasonable” use of force.
As he’s pointed to previously, a crowd formed around Mr Chauvin as he was kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck. Some called the officer names.
“Even in small crowds, even if you have 10 people, 12 people, crowds are dynamic creatures,” he said. “They can change suddenly.”
But Jody Stiger, an LAPD use of force expert, said verbal threats from a crowd aren’t considered a justification for the use of force on someone under arrest, and that the crowd forming was mainly out of “concern” for Mr Floyd, not to threaten officers.
Josh Marcus7 April 2021 17:30
And we’re back
Court is back in session, with LAPD use of force expert Jody Stiger resuming his testimony.
Josh Marcus7 April 2021 17:12
Trial on break for now
The trial has taken its mid-morning break for the next 20 minutes.
Josh Marcus7 April 2021 16:53
Eric Nelson: Sometimes force can be ‘awful but lawful’
Derek Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson returned to one of his familiar points on Wednesday as his cross-examination of Jody Stiger concluded. Sometimes, he said, police use of force isn’t “attractive,” but it’s a necessary part of the job.
As Mr Nelson put it, sometimes what police do is “awful but lawful.”
Josh Marcus7 April 2021 16:53
Derek Chauvin had 866 hours of training
How much relevant training did Derek Chauvin have before he encountered George Floyd last year?
According to testimony on Wednesday, Mr Chauvin, a nearly 20-year veteran on the Minneapolis police force before he was fired, had 866 documented hours of relevant training.
That’s more than 36 day’s worth.
According to Nicole Mackenzie, the MPD’s medical support coordinator, that training included life-saving medical care like CPR in addition to things like the use of force.
Josh Marcus7 April 2021 16:38