George Floyd: Police used inappropriate ‘deadly force’, expert tells court

A mural in Berlin, Germany, by George Floyd, 46, who died of a heart attack on May 25 in Minneapolis. Police arrested him for allegedly using a counterfeit $ 20 note. Floyd, a robber, thief and drug dealer, moved to Minneapolis in 2014 for a better life. He worked as a security guard, but with the Covid-19 pandemic, the restaurant and bar where he worked closed its doors and he was unemployed. A video of police officer Derek Chauvin pushing his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 40 seconds and Floyd’s repeated plea that he could not breathe led to violent protests against racism and police violence in America and many other countries led. Chauvin and the three other police officers were fired and charged with culpable homicide. They are due to appear in court again on March 8. Photo: Getty Images

  • A court has heard testimony that George Floyd was killed by way of “deadly force” when his neck was knelt on.
  • An expert alleges that Derek Chauvin, who is accused of murder, used inappropriate force because floyd was lying down.
  • The high-profile trial kicked off this week.

The police officer accused of murdering George Floyd used inappropriate “deadly force” when kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes, an expert told the court in Minneapolis on Wednesday.

Jody Stiger, a use-of-force specialist testifying for the prosecution, was questioned at the trial of Derek Chauvin, the officer seen in a phone video kneeling on the neck of Floyd.

READ | George Floyd family paid $27 million in settlement

The harrowing footage of Floyd’s 25 May 2020 arrest touched off protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States and around the world.

Stiger said that Chauvin’s actions were “deadly force” because Floyd “was in the prone position.”

“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.

Asked how much force was reasonable after Floyd was prone, handcuffed and not resisting, Stiger, a Los Angeles police officer, said “my opinion was no force should have been used once he was in that position.”

He said:

“An officer is only allowed to use a level of force that is proportional to the seriousness of the crime, or the level of resistance.”

Prosecutors are seeking to prove that Floyd’s death was due to asphyxiation, while Chauvin’s defense claims it was due to illegal drugs in Floyd’s system.

On Tuesday, Johnny Mercil, the Minneapolis police’s use-of-force coordinator, said Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck was not an authorized restraint.

Weight

“We tell officers to stay away from the neck when possible. And if you’re going to use body weight, to pin it on their shoulder,” Mercil said.

Chauvin, 45, who was sacked from the police force after the incident, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and manslaughter.

Floyd was arrested on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill in a nearby store.

A paramedic testified last week that Floyd, 46, was already dead when he arrived on the scene in an ambulance and that Chauvin was still kneeling on his neck.

Chauvin, who has been in court every day taking meticulous notes and consulting with his attorney, faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge – second-degree murder.

The other three former police officers involved in the arrest – Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng – are to be tried separately later this year.




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