Testimony in Derek Chauvin's trial will resume at 9:15, but first, at 8:30, there is a hearing regarding the witness Morries Hall, who was in the car with George Floyd when approached by officers. 4/6/21 thread
During the testimony of Courteney Ross, George Floyd's girlfriend, she testified that Hall sold Floyd drugs in the days leading up to his death. Hall has filed notice that he will exercise his 5th Amendment rights not to self-incriminate.
In the hearing, Morries Hall is asking Judge Cahill to quash his subpoena so that he will not be called into the courtroom to testify. Hall will appear via Zoom from the Hennepin County Jail, where he is currently being held.
Morries Hall is currently in jail on a felony charge of violating a no-contact order. He also has an active case from Redwood County that involves drugs and sex trafficking charges.
Here is our Youtube link to watch this motions hearing. Then at 9:10 -- join us on Channel 11.
In opening statements, defense attorney Eric Nelson said he would call Hall as a witness (perhaps signaling that the prosecution had no intention of doing so)

The state has given him no immunity (again a sign that they probably aren't eager for him to testify)
Hall's attorney says he would plead the 5th regarding any activities taking place on May 25, 2020.
Since drugs found in car, and George Floyd died, his attorneys says testimony would potentially incriminate himself into a future prosecution of 3rd degree murder
Hall's attorney would also plead the 5th regarding any drug use by George Floyd -- for the same reason -- anyone in the chain of events of drug distribution that leads to a death could potentially be prosecuted for Murder-3
Nelson says if he was able to call Hall as witness, would ask about:
-any events leading up to their arrival at Cup Foods
-Hall's interaction with Floyd in Cup Food, who gave who
-If Hall sold or gave drugs to GF
-If GF was falling asleep in car
Nelson would ask:
-About comments Hall told police about GF going for the ignition when police approached
-Giving false names to Police
-Hall's decision to leave MN right after the incident
Judge Cahill says -- Hall could plead fifth regarding counterfeit bill, lies told to police, motives for fleeing, use and possession of drugs by both Hall and GF.

Cahill trying to figure out if there is anything he could testify about. Possibly observations from passenger seat
Hall's attorney disagrees -- and says that Hall even answering question about being in the car puts him in close proximity to Floyd -- and exposes him on potential 3rd Degree murder charge.
Judge Cahill doesn't seem to agree that basic testimony about observations from the car would incriminate him.

Hall's attorney firmly says it could.

Now prosecutor Matthew Frank says the jury can't hear Hall invoke his 5th A right in front of them.
Frank says other questioning that would occur during that testimony would lead to Hall having to invoke his 5th -- verbally -- in front of the jury.
Judge Cahill says Eric Nelson needs to draft his questions in written form -- so Hall can meet with his lawyer to see if he can answer those questions -- then there will be another motion hearing like this without jury to determine if he can be called as witness.
Judge Cahill isn't willing to say that the witness simply cannot be called at all and avoid any testimony by invoking 5th Amendment rights.
Current witness, Sgt. Ker Yang from MPD, testified about the Critical Decision Making Model -- on which officers are trained to follow when dealing with people who are in crisis.
In cross-examination, Eric Nelson asks about training and other things not apparent to a citizen coming into play.
Lt. Johnny Mercil is now on the witness stand. He stated that he's currently on medical leave.

Well over 100 MPD officers took medical leave last year after the death of George Floyd and all that followed.
Lt. Mercil was in charge of use of force training on May 25, 2020. Plus continuing education.

He was mentioned by name in opening statements by prosecutor Jerry Blackwell.

He's being questioned today by Steve Schleicher.
Schleicher is having Lt. Mercil drill down definitions of use of force.
Lt. Mercil states that officers should start with least amount of force necessary.
Lt. Mercil testified on direct examination that this is not a neck restraint as taught by MPD.

On cross-examination, said a neck restraint could render unconscious in 10 seconds, which I believe Nelson was getting at to argue that the knee wasn't where the state says it was.
Nelson is showing these still images from body cameras to Lt. Mercil -- to show the knee on the shoulder blade rather than neck. This now appears to be a key part of the defense -- disputing the placement of the knee.
Nelson got Lt. Mercil to agree the photo appears to show -- not a neck restraint -- but a "prone hold an officer may apply with his knee."
Nelson also just got Lt. Mercil to agree he has held down a person until EMS arrives.
Prosecution now doing redirect -- and Lt. Mercil testifies that this group of people filming does not mean Chauvin should have used more force.
We are into the afternoon session now, and the first witness is Officer Nicole McKenzie with Minneapolis Police. Here is the Youtube link:
Officer McKenzie provides medical training to officers, including for the use of Narcan.
Prosecution showing that Derek Chauvin was trained in CPR
This is a good piece our team did which explains how Derek Chauvin's defense is funded: kare11.com/article/news/v…
In cross-examination, Eric Nelson is asking questions about how people appear during an opiate overdose. He is also showing how even a small amount of fentanyl can be deadly.
Now -- the topic of excited delirium. The HCMC ER doc who testified called it "controversial" -- the jury is taking in this information potentially with that in mind.

But Officer MacKenzie is talking about how officers are taught about excited delirium in the academy.
Officer MacKenzie -- on cross -- said that sometimes EMS "load and go" is done because bystanders sometimes attack paramedics. Not what prosecution would have liked her to say. They tried to object for relevance but were overruled.
The current witness is Jody Stiger -- a Sgt with the Los Angeles Police Department. The state is using him as a national use of force expert.

He just testified that Derek Chauvin used excessive force on George Floyd.
Now the prosecution is going through the body camera videos and scrutinizing each part with Stiger.

Here they are showing how the hobble restraint is properly used. Tou Thao retrieved the hobble but the officers never used it.

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More from @LouRaguse

7 Apr
The Derek Chauvin trial will resume momentarily with national use of force expert Jody Stiger on the stand for the state. Court ended abruptly yesterday afternoon. Here is my thread for 4/7/21

Testimony is resuming without Judge Cahill mentioning why they quit early yesterday, so perhaps we're reading into it too much?

Here is the youtube link for this morning as Stiger's testimony continues.

Stiger testifies that the knee restraint began at 20:19:19 and ended at 20:28:48 for a total of nine minutes and 29 seconds.
Read 36 tweets
5 Apr
Week two of testimony in the Derek Chauvin trial will get underway at 9:15 morning, possibly including testimony from MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo.

At 8:30, there will be a motion hearing for some legal issues to be discussed.

Actually -- the court docket just slide the start time of the motion hearing to 8:45.
Still waiting on court to begin. Some delays and off-record conversations apparently going on between attorneys and judge.
Read 46 tweets
29 Mar
The trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd begins with opening statements this morning in Minneapolis. KARE 11 will broadcast the entire trial live on TV and the web -- here are ways for you to watch.

I expect opening statements to take up much of the morning -- and I also expect the prosecution to begin calling witnesses today. There is also lots of activity around the courthouse and we have several reporters covering all issues.
All 15 jurors showed up, so the last one seated -- a white man in his 20s is dismissed -- the other 14 will make up the 12 jurors and 2 alternates.
Read 66 tweets
9 Mar
Feels like Deja Vu this morning in the Derek Chauvin case, the officer charged with killing George Floyd. Court is scheduled to resume at 8a central with jury selection to start at 9. Here is my thread for 3/9/21 and an article here as a primer. kare11.com/article/news/l…
Last night, Chauvin's attorney Eric Nelson filed a petition for further review to the MN Supreme Court as he said he would. He also filed an opposition to the state's motion for writ of prohibition to the MN Court of Appeals.
What does that mean? We are waiting to hear back from CoA whether they will stop the trial completely while we wait to hear from MN SupCo. The MN SupCo can either agree to take the case or reject it. If they reject it -- the CoA issue becomes irrelevant.
Read 50 tweets
8 Mar
Jury selection is scheduled to begin today in the Derek Chauvin trial, the first former officer charged with killing George Floyd. Lots of developments expected early. Follow this thread for details. Image
Extraordinary outside. Right now people are really spread out surrounding the Hennepin County Government Center. ImageImageImageImage
Read 40 tweets
17 Feb
This morning, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and several other city leaders held a news conference about what to expect as far as communication and safety measures in the city during the Derek Chauvin Trial. The emphasis was on two-way communication to make sure residents are heard
It was really something to hear Econ Policy & Development Dir Erik Hansen say in the same breath "Mpls will be open for business" as well as advising boarding up and moving important docs off-site. I guess that represents the range of what they hope vs fear might happen.
Starting March 1st, S 6th street between 3rd and 4th Ave will be closed. That is the street and sidewalk that runs right underneath the Hennepin County Gov Center where the trial will be held. No other street closures announced, but they alluded that others will happen as needed.
Read 12 tweets

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