Court has resumed in the #DerekChauvinTrial.

Right now, the judge is hearing motions concerning the possible testimony of Morries Hall, who was allegedly with #GeorgeFloyd when he was arrested.


Hall has been subpoenaed to testify by both the state and the defense.

According to his attorney, he has invoked the 5th Amendment, so as not to incriminate himself.

Eric Nelson, Derek Chauvin's attorney, is now telling the judge what he plans to ask Hall should he testify in the case.

Judge Peter Cahill says that Hall has a legitimate reason to invoke the 5th Amendment in regard to giving false statements to police, using or selling drugs, and the content of his backpack.
However, Cahill says that he thinks that Hall can be asked about how #GeorgeFloyd appeared in the car.

Hall's attorney disagrees.

She says that his testimony would put him in proximity to Floyd and possibly expose him to 3rd-degree murder charges.
Prosecutor Matthew Frank is now expressing concern that Hall would invoke the 5th Amendment in front of the jury. He doesn't want that.

Judge Cahill says this won't be wrapped up today.

He asks for Nelson to draft questions and answers for Hall and his attorney to go over.

Cahill says there is "really a small narrow topic that might be permissible" for Hall to testify.
Court is now in recess until 9:15 a.m., when testimony is set to continue.
Day 7 of testimony has started in the #DerekChauvinTrial.

Sgt. Ker Yang, a 24-year veteran with the Minneapolis Police Department, is on the stand.

Yang is the department's crisis intervention training coordinator.

Yang reports that he recognizes Derek Chauvin through training but does not know him personally.

Yang identifies Chauvin in the courtroom.

Prosecutor Steve Schleicher is now asking about a specific crisis de-escalation course that Yang oversees.
Yang is asked about the MPD's Critical Decision Making Model.

Sgt. Yang says that "listening is key." So is touch, he says, which can allow officers to tell if someone is tensing up.

Yang: "The ultimate goal in a crisis is to determine if that person needs help."
Schleicher just finished his questioning.

Now, Eric Nelson, the attorney for Derek Chauvin, is cross examining.
Nelson asks if Yang has had to use force on someone in situations where bystanders are there and don't approve.

Yang says yes.

Nelson brings up training Yang wrote on "signs of aggression." Schleicher calls for a side bar.
Nelson is now asking about the difference in training for cadets and veteran officers.

Yang clarifies that he trains veteran officers in a "refresher course," including de-escalation training.

Nelson hones in on the decision making model, a "dynamic, ever-changing thing."
Nelson finishes his cross examination.

Now Schleicher is up to redirect.

Yang is excused.

The next witness up is Johnny Mercil, a lieutenant with the Minneapolis Police Department.

He joined the department in 1996. He is currently on medical leave.

In 2010, Mercil was a part time use of force instructor. He then moved to the training unit full time.

He attended courses designed for trainers. He practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Says it doesn't rely on strikes, but rather body control and "pain compliance."
Mercil is being asked about use of force training.

Schleicher: Use of force has to be reasonable at the time it starts and the time it stops?

Mercil: Correct.

Schleicher is now asking about the "use of force continuum" and proportionality.

Mercil: "You want to use the lowest level of force possible to meet those objectives." Image
The state shows a still image of Derek Chauvin kneeling on #GeorgeFloyd's neck.

Schleicher: Is this a use of force?

Mercil: Yes.

The state publishes an MPD slide on the probability of injury for strikes on certain body parts.

The "Red Zones" include the head, neck, and throat. Image
Schleicher asks Mercil about neck restraints.

MPD's policy says that neck restraints are not supposed to be used against people who are passively resisting.

Schleicher asks if Mercil taught Chauvin neck restraints. The state shows the photo of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd's neck.

Mercil says no.

Mercil clarifies that a "knee on the neck is not an unauthorized use of force."
The court is now taking a 20-minute break.
Court has resumed.

Lt. Johnny Mercil, an MPD use of force trainer, is now being questioned about handcuffing someone in the prone position.

"Control doesn't end with handcuffing always."

Mercil says that a knee on the shoulder can be used to cuff someone who is prone.

However, he says that a knee should be removed once the suspect stops resisting.
Mercil is asked about positional asphyxia.

He says that people handcuffed while prone should be moved to their side or up to their feet once they are compliant.

Schleicher is done with his direct questioning.

Eric Nelson, Derek Chauvin's attorney, is now cross examining Mercil.
Nelson: Have you had people say "I can't breathe" while you're arresting them?

Mercil: Yes, sir.

N: Were there incidents where you didn't believe a suspect being arrested?

M: Yes, sir.

Nelson: You don't train officers to only consider the person they are taking into custody?

Mercil: No.

N: You teach them to consider other things -- the safety of their partner, or an angry crowd?

M: Yes.
Nelson: Do you train officers to consider a large size difference in their continuing use of force?

Mercil: Yes.

N: Do you train officers for use of force on people believed to be on drugs?

M: Yes, it's a consideration.

Nelson is now asking the difference between a neck restraint and a choke hold.

When asked if he saw Derek Chauvin use a choke hold against #GeorgeFloyd, he said no.
Nelson: It's fair to say that the MPD trained officers to hold suspects in a prone position until the scene is safe.

Mercil: Yes.

N: An officer has to consider whether it's safe to render medical aid?

M: Generally, yes.
Mercil is again shown the still photo of Derek Chauvin kneeling on #GeorgeFloyd's neck.

Mercil says that Chauvin could be using his "body weight to control." However, he says that officers are trained to avoid the neck.

The state shows an MPD training slide.

Nelson notes that in one of the photos, the officer's shin is along the neck of someone being handcuffed in the prone position. Image
Nelson shows a still from body-worn camera video of #GeorgeFloyd's arrest.

He asks Mercil whether or not this shows that Chauvin's shin is over Floyd's neck and his knee is over his shoulder.

Mercil says he can't tell. Image
Nelson shows more still images from body-worn camera video of #GeorgeFloyd's arrest.

N: Does this show Chauvin's knee between Floyd's shoulder blades?

Mercil: Yes

N: Does this appear to be a neck restraint?

M: No.

Nelson gets Mercil to agree that this photo shows a "prone hold an officer may apply with his knee." Image
Nelson: Have you trained officers that if a person can talk they can breathe?

Mercil: Yes, it's been said.

Nelson notes that under the MPD's use of fore continuum, officers can use some force even if someone is not actively resisting arrest. Image
Nelson asks about de-escalating use of force in certain circumstances.

Mercil agrees that using body weight to pin someone down can be a de-escalating technique.

Nelson ends cross examination. Schleicher is now up for redirect.

Schleicher asks Mercil if MPD officers have discretion to use as much force as they want.

They don't, Mercil says.
Schleicher: Would it be appropriate to hold someone in a prone restrained position for an extended period of time after they stopped resisting or lost their pulse?

Mercil: No, sir.
Schleicher and Nelson go back and forth questioning Mercil over the crowd of bystanders who watched #GeorgeFloyd's arrest.
Nelson asks if the words bystanders use -- such as cursing -- matter, Mercil says yes.

Schleicher responds by asking Mercil what if bystanders tell officers that someone can't breathe and should get off of them. Mercil says that officers should take that into account.
The court is now taking a lunch break.

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More from @WCCO

8 Apr
Testimony is resuming this morning in the #DerekChauvinTrial. Medical experts are expected to take the stand.

Also, Judge Cahill is expected to decide on whether a man who was with #GeorgeFloyd in the moments before his death will testify.

Before testimony began, Eric Nelson, the attorney for Derek Chauvin, noted that the state intends to call Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County medical examiner who performed the autopsy on #GeorgeFloyd, tomorrow.
First up today is Dr. Martin Tobin, a physician in pulmonary critical care.

He defined pulmonology as "the study of the lungs...of all diseases that effect the respiratory system."

He is being questioned by prosecutor Jerry Blackwell. Image
Read 51 tweets
7 Apr
Nelson: Doesn't "saying things like 'you're a f***ing p****, you're a b****" convey a particular intent?
Stiger: "I wouldn't say intent," adding it depends on the officer's training. |
Nelson calls up surveillance photo outside Cup Foods. Asks Stiger about Chauvin's position, and could that indicate less of his weight on his left side, where his knee is holding down Floyd. Stiger affirms. Image
Prosecution's Steven Schleicher begins redirect of witness Jody Stiger by asking about the risks of positional asphyxia, making a distinction between positioning as opposed to pressure and weight.
Read 84 tweets
7 Apr
Nelson plays video of Kueng's body-worn camera video. He asks if he can understand what #GeorgeFloyd is saying.

N: Does it sound like he says he ate too many drugs.

Stiger: I can't make it out.

Nelson notes that officers discussed using a "hobble device" on #GeorgeFloyd.

He suggests that because officers decided not to use it, it could be viewed as a de-escalation technique.
Nelson: You would agree that sometimes the use of force, it looks really bad?

Stiger: Yes.

Nelson: It looks bad, but it's still lawful.

Stiger: Yes

Read 7 tweets
7 Apr
Day 8 of testimony in the #DerekChauvinTrial continues this morning with Sgt. Jody Stiger, a use-of-force expert from the Los Angeles Police Department.

He is the state's first paid expert to testify.


Sgt. Stiger began his testimony yesterday afternoon. He called Chauvin's use-of-force against #GeorgeFloyd "excessive."

He is currently being questioned prosecutor Steve Schleicher.

Stiger reviews surveillance and body-worn camera footage.

Stiger testifies that Chauvin's left knee was on #GeorgeFloyd's neck and his right knee was on Floyd's back.

Stiger notes that Chauvin's feet were spread, with the majority of his weight pushing down on his knees. Image
Read 20 tweets
6 Apr
🔴LIVE: #DerekChauvinTrial testimony continues with Los Angeles Police Officer Jody Stiger taking the stand as a law enforcement expert.

Officer Stiger has been with the LAPD since 1993, and has worked with homicide and gang units. Has extensive experience with use of force reviews.
Officer Stiger, the state's expert witness, has reviewed all body cam footage, other videos including cell phone videos, reports, manuals from MPD, and training materials in his review of the May 25 incident.
Read 6 tweets
6 Apr
🔴LIVE: #DerekChauvinTrial testimony continues with MPD Officer Nicole Mackenzie taking the stand.

Mackenzie has been an officer for 6 years, all with the Minneapolis Police Department. She worked in human resources before that.
Offcier Mackenzie trains in medical support, including CPR.
Read 9 tweets

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