Lou Raguse Profile picture
7 Apr, 40 tweets, 10 min read
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.
Stiger testifies that Chauvin's left knee was on Floyd's neck and right knee on his back for the entirety of the restraint. Feet spread on the ground. Majority of body weight pushing down from knees.
Stiger testifies that Chauvin's position didn't change, when reviewing this back camera view -- meaning Stiger is saying the knee was on the neck the whole time.
Then Stiger used the still photo from Kueng's body camera to counter Nelson's cross examination the last two days -- where others thought the knee looked on the shoulder blade
Stiger testifies that Chauvin was using "pain compliance" techniques. This will end up being very important to the state's case as they need to prove intent to assault in order to prove Murder in the Second Degree. Note this, as I'm sure it will be scrutinized further.
Stiger now testifying about dangers of positional asphyxia. He says it can happen even without body weight added -- but adding the body weight adds to the risk of death.
Prosecutor Steve Schleicher played a portion of the body camera for the jury where you can hear Chauvin talking to George Floyd. This would have been more effective if accompanied by a transcript.

I re-listened & hear Chauvin:
"You're doing a lot of talking, a lot of yelling."
Defense attorney Eric Nelson starts out cross-examination by pointing out that there are differences between LAPD and MPD training and techniques.
Nelson holds up Stiger's 461-page report -- and is now pointing out that Stiger has not reviewed anything after January.

Nelson seems to be building up to something.
In the current line of questioning -- Nelson is working on planting seeds to the jury that Sgt. Stiger might know LAPD, but doesn't know MPD or Minnesota as well.

Now reading aloud how MPD policy incorporates the "reasonableness standard" -- in evaluating use of force.
Nelson points out that the standard to look at is whether it was "an objectively reasonable use of force."
Now Nelson is going over what Chauvin knew as he arrived on the scene, then observing as Floyd was "actively resisting"

Stiger admits Chauvin would have been within his right to use a taser at that moment.
Nelson is trying to show that if a person in prone person is still kicking -- then continued use of force by officers can be appropriate.

He is getting Stiger to agree with questions in broad terms and hypotheticals -- that could be applied to this case but without specifically
Nelson just played a portion of the body camera video and asked "does it sound like he said 'I ate too many drugs?'"

Stiger said he couldn't make it out. Here I clipped that part of the video.
Court is back in session as cross-examination continues.

I wonder how prosecution will address that video clip part during re-direct.
Here is the section of video -- which i clipped from Kueng and Lane's body camera videos -- in which defense attorney Eric Nelson suggests George Floyd said "I ate too many drugs."
Also, here is the corresponding transcript which did not include an attempt to transcribe what Floyd said.

Remember, regardless, the jury is not seeing a transcript and they are not re-watching the clip over and over.
Unless I missed it, the prosecution did not even address the video clip during re-direct questioning.

Now MN BCA Special Agent James Reyerson is on the stand.
SA Reyerson is the lead investigator of this case.

BCA calls the lead investigator the "Case Agent."
SA Reyerson took photographs of Chauvin on May 25. He just testified that Chauvin weighed 140 lbs.
The weight of equipment is 30-40 lbs.
Back in court now with Prosecutor Matthew Frank questioning BCA Special Agent James Reyerson.
Here is our youtube link for the afternoon session.
Frank is having SA Reyerson get into the topic of drug use -- saying there was very little indication at the beginning of the case that drugs were an issue.

Now they are talking about the later search of Floyd's vehicle by the BCA.
Reyerson says the second search was initiated by the prosecution team.

This is an issue that the prosecution is presenting in the light most favorable to them.

Because the BCA did not tag drug evidence at first.
Now Reyerson is talking about how the defense asked BCA to take second look at squad car to collect drug evidence that had not been tagged as evidence at first.

Nelson will no doubt try to present this in a different light.
When news broke during jury selection/pretrial hearings that the BCA missed drugs in the squad car -- and had to search again after prompting from the defense -- many viewers asked me if it's possible the defense planted them. SA Reyerson testified that the car was still sealed.
But the fact that question even needs to be asked will tell you how bad of a look that is for the BCA.

Regardless, all that matters in the trial is what the jury hears. And it was presented to them in the way most favorable to the prosecution.
Agent Reyerson identified moments on the body camera video -- such as the point in which George Floyd stopped talking, etc.

Now Eric Nelson is cross-examining him and starting out showing how many interviews (200 citizens) and how many investigators worked (25 FBI helped)
SA Reyerson acknowledges to Nelson that this case took "twists and turns"... "in part because of what was going on in the city at the time."

Such as, Equipment belonging to Chauvin and other officers being located in other places.
Nelson made a big point of making it clear to the jury the defense could not have planted the drugs.

He also re-iterated the second search happened in January -- and they just didn't notice the drugs earlier.
Nelson played the same clip to Agent Reyerson -- and asked "Did it appear that Mr. Floyd said, 'I ate too many drugs?'"

And Reyerson answered, "Yes it did."
Finally -- the prosecution is addressing the video clip.

They are insinuating that it's out of context because Reyerson didn't hear the officer conversation that occurred beforehand.

But not playing more of the tape.
Now the prosecution played more of the tape, and SA Reyerson said with more context, he actually heard George Floyd say: "I ain't doing no drugs."
At the very end there -- Nelson played a video that shows Morries Hall throwing something. SA Reyerson testified that it is consistent with someone throwing drugs.
It seems the current testimony is mostly preemptive damage control from the state -- in presenting details of the second search of George Floyd's vehicle and the police car. In which they found drugs they didn't collect during the first searches.
Someone please explain to me how the BCA would miss these drugs in a police car. Why would they not collect them?
The current witness is the BCA agent who tested the drugs found in the vehicles.
Next witness (final witness of the day) is Susan Neith NMS labs in Pennsylvania.

I believe the drug chemistry will be important to the state to combat the defense assertion that Floyd died from a drug overdose.

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More from @LouRaguse

8 Apr
We may hear medical testimony today in the Derek Chauvin trial -- critical to the state's case as well as the defense's assertion that Chauvin's knee did not cause George Floyd's death. 4/8/21 Thread
First witness today is Dr. Martin Tobin. He is a pulmonologist from Chicago. Image
Prior to being called, defense attorney Eric Nelson noted that the state will call Hennepin County Medical Examiner Andrew Baker tomorrow, even though it's more common for the ME to testify first then other medical experts afterwards.
Read 21 tweets
6 Apr
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.
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
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