July 25, 2021

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Use Of Force Expert Testifies: Derek Chauvin Wrongly Used ‘Deadly Force’ On George Floyd – HuffPost

2 min read
A police use of force expert testified in court Wednesday that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin inappropriately used “deadly force” against George Floyd the night Floyd died in May 2020.

Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jody Stiger testified that “no force” should have been used on Floyd after he was handcuffed and in the prone position. (The prone position occurs when a person lies flat on their chest.)

He said Floyd did not appear to pose a threat to the officers at the scene of his arrest during the 9 minutes and 29 seconds Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck. 

Floyd was in the “prone position, handcuffed not attempting to resist, not attempting to assault the officers,” Stiger said in his assessment, adding that Floyd was “not actively resisting at the time” nor did he “communicate that he was attempting to resist or evade them.”

Stiger made the remarks on the eighth day of witness testimony in Chauvin’s trial. Chauvin has been charged with second- and third-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. 

Stiger, based on his review of video associated with the case and other relevant documents, testified Wednesday that Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes constituted “deadly force.”

“The pressure … that was being caused by the body weight could cause positional asphyxia, which could cause death,” Stiger told the court.

Positional asphyxia ― oxygen deficiency caused by a person’s body position ― is a well-known risk in law enforcement, Stiger said.

Stiger, whom the prosecution retained as an expert witness, also testified Tuesday. He said he believed Chauvin’s use of force was “excessive.”

During his testimony Wednesday, Stiger threw cold water on the defense’s argument that the crowd of bystanders who witnessed Floyd’s arrest was unruly and therefore could have impacted the officers’ actions.

“I did not perceive them as being a threat,” Stiger said, adding that the bystanders were “merely filming” the arrest and most of their comments were related to “their concern for Mr. Floyd.”

At one point, the prosecution presented a document that showed Chauvin had completed 866 hours of “continued education” training for the police department during his 19-year career with the force. Stiger said that amount of training “absolutely” should have prepared Chauvin for how to appropriately carry out Floyd’s arrest.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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