Chauvin wanted to ‘take some sort of motion’ as Floyd’s health failed, use-of-force witness says

Derek Chauvin had a accountability to re-evaluate urgent his knee into George Floyd’s neck throughout their deadly encounter because the health of the 46-year outdated Black man was clearly “deteriorating,” a use-of power skilled testified Wednesday as the previous police officer’s homicide trial continued in Minneapolis. 

Jody Stiger, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant, serving as a paid prosecution witness as a use-of-force skilled, appeared for his second day of testimony at Chauvin’s trial.

Stiger had testified the day earlier than that the strain being exerted on Floyd was extreme, and will trigger positional asphyxia and result in demise. On Wednesday he reaffirmed that the power Chauvin used on Floyd was “not objectively reasonable.”

Prosecutor Steve Schleicher requested Stiger whether or not Chauvin had an obligation to take into consideration the misery Floyd was displaying when contemplating whether or not to proceed the kind of power he was making use of.

“Absolutely. As the time went on, clearly in the video you could … his health was deteriorating,” Stiger mentioned. “His breath was getting lower. His tone of voice was getting lower. His movements were starting to cease.

“So at that level, as on officer on scene, you have a accountability to understand ‘OK, one thing just isn’t proper, one thing has modified drastically from what was occurring earlier.’ So subsequently you have accountability to take some sort of motion.”

Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, faces two murder charges — second-degree unintentional murder and third-degree murder — in George Floyd’s death. (COURT TV/The Associated Press)

Chauvin, 45, who is white, faces two murder charges — second-degree unintentional murder and third-degree murder — in Floyd’s death. Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin pressed his knee against the back of Floyd’s neck for around nine minutes as other officers held him down. Chauvin’s trial is now in its second week. 

Video captured by a bystander and from police body cameras show the handcuffed Floyd repeatedly say he couldn’t breathe. The footage of the arrest prompted widespread outrage, setting off protests across the U.S. and around the world.

Floyd had been detained outside a convenience store after being suspected of paying with a counterfeit bill. All four officers were later fired. 

During cross-examination, Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson, asked a question he has posed to other witnesses — whether there are times when a suspect can fake the need for medical attention. Stiger agreed.

But when asked by the prosecutor whether an officer can “decide to not consider” a suspect, Stiger said an officer is still obligated to believe. 

“That’s a part of our responsibility,” he said. 

Stiger also testified that Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck or neck area from the time officers put Floyd on the ground until paramedics arrived.

“That specific power didn’t change throughout your entire restraint interval?” Schleicher asked as he showed the jury a composite image of five photos taken from the various videos of the arrest.

“Correct,” Stiger replied.

The prosecution says Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck caused his death. But the defence argues Chauvin did what his training taught him and that it was a combination of Floyd’s underlying medical conditions, drug use and adrenaline flowing through his system that ultimately killed him.

On Wednesday, Nelson played a snippet of then-Officer J. Kueng’s body-camera video and asked whether Stiger could hear Floyd say, “I ate too many medication.” 

Stiger replied that he could not make out those words in the footage.

But Nelson was able to get Stiger to agree with a number of his propositions. Stiger agreed with Nelson, for example, that an officer’s actions must be viewed from the point of view of a reasonable officer on the scene, not in hindsight.

He also agreed that a not-risky situation can suddenly escalate and that a person in handcuffs can still pose a threat to an officer.

Stiger also agreed that when Chauvin arrived at the scene, and saw officers struggling to get him in the back seat of the squad car, it would have been within police policy guidelines for Chauvin to have stunned Floyd with a Taser. 

And he agreed with Nelson that sometimes the use of force “seems actually dangerous” however remains to be lawful.

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