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7 Apr, 197 tweets, 29 min read
Thanks for joining us - court is starting shortly in the #DerekChauvinTrial
The first witness is on the stand. It is the LAPD Sgt. again. Schleicher is questioning him.
Exhibit 254 is being shown to the witness. It is a composite of 5 different photos. Schleicher asks the Sgt. to describe each photo. The first is when officers remove Floyd from the squad car and put him on the ground.
The second is of the paramedics arriving on the scene. The third is of Chauvin's left knee on Floyd's neck and right knee on his back.
The fourth and fifth also show still images of Chauvin on top of Floyd. The exhibit is now published.
This still image shows Chauvin kneeling on Floyd and the two other officers on his lower body. This still is from the city camera.
These two still images show Chauvin kneeling on Floyd. Schleicher has the Sgt. confirm that Chauvin's position and body weight pressure on Floyd doesn't seem to change over time.
The LAPD Sgt. explains that this still image shows Chauvin doing a pain compliance tactic on Floyd's left hand.
Schleicher asks the Sgt. about the Graham v. Connor (a Supreme Court case) factors added into the MPD policies. The Sgt. says after reviewing the policies, MPD has added those in, which is shown in policy highlighted in the image.
The Sgt. touches upon the 3 items highlighted in the MPD policy. He confirms that the severity of the crime did not change over time, it was still the fake $20 bill. He confirms that the 2nd point says "poses an immediate threat."
The LAPD Sgt. says in his opinion once Floyd was in the prone position on the ground handcuffed and not resisting, there should have been no force or restraint.
Schleicher has the Sgt. go over the different allowable police responses according to the subject's behavior.
The Sgt. says the position that Chauvin was in--kneeling on Floyd while he was in the prone position--was deadly force.
Schleicher asks the Sgt. about his experience in using force and handcuffing someone in the view of by-standers and a hostile crowd. A hostile crowd to him is when the crowd is yelling and throwing rocks and bottles at him.
The Sgt. says he does not view the crowd on May 25, 2020 as hostile because they were just yelling and filming. He also confirms that the use of force used on a subject has to be relative to the subject's behavior, not that of by-standers.
Schleicher asks the Sgt. if it is possible for a crowd to distract an officer. The Sgt. says yes, it's possible, but he doesn't believe it happened in this case because when Floyd would cry for help, Chauvin would respond to him.
After Floyd called out for help and said he couldn't breathe the first time, Chauvin remained kneeling on his neck for about 6 minutes, says the LAPD Sgt.
Nelson is now cross-examining. He begins by asking the Sgt. if he enjoyed the rain last night in Minneapolis.
Nelson asks for the Sgt.'s qualifications to be testifying on use-of-force. Nelson asks if he has ever been an expert witness, Sgt. says yes, one time before.
Nelson has the Sgt. confirm that each police department has some different policies, not all exactly the same. That some tactics are different.
"Reasonable minds can differ." Nelson has the Sgt. confirm this statement, and he says yes. He has the Sgt. confirm that he has not been trained by the MPD.
Nelson has the Sgt. confirm that he received materials for the case--May 25, 2020 videos, MPD policies, etc. He has Sgt. confirm that he used these materials, in part, to form his opinion on the case.
The Sgt. wrote a written report on his findings on the case and made an exhibit of the materials. The report is 461 pages.
Nelson has the Sgt. confirm he also used his personal experience in the LAPD to form his opinions.
Schleicher asks for a sidebar, which is granted.
Nelson asks the Sgt. about trial prep with the prosecution. He asks if the Sgt. did any prep with them last night, the Sgt. says no.
Sgt. confirms there are certain types of use-of-force where officers, whether in LAPD or MPD, need to report to their superior.
Schleicher asks for another sidebar, which is granted.
Nelson asks if Sgt. Stiger reviewed the MPD policy that incorporates the Graham v. Connor decision, he says yes.
Nelson reads from the policy, which says it is not limited to those 3 factors shown earlier by Schleicher. The policy says that the on-scene officers need to look at the totality of the scene, and says that sometimes the use-of-force can be instantaneous.
Nelson says when the use-of-force is reviewed there are multiple layers: the officers' training and experience, the surrounding circumstances, the use-of-force used and the length it's used.
Nelson brings up the critical decision-making model. Nelson has Stiger confirm that a benign situation could turn into a risky situation.
Nelson asks if Stiger agrees that there is inherent risk in being a police officer, he agrees.
Nelson asks if use-of-force is viewed in a vacuum, which Stiger says no, you need to view the totality of the circumstances.
Nelson asks Stiger about what Chauvin heard from dispatch. Nelson has Stiger confirm what Chauvin knew--a tall, possibly intoxicated person.
Nelson mentions how when you consider the fact that this is a forgery call, you wouldn't normally think this is a use-of-force case. Since it turned into that, a reasonable officer arriving on the scene could have a heightened sense of concern, which Stiger agrees.
Nelson continues to go through the possible perspective of Chauvin when he arrived on the scene on May 25. Nelson has Stiger confirm that Floyd was actively resisting until he was put in the prone position.
Nelson says that Floyd was saying he couldn't breathe as officers were trying to put him in the squad car, Stiger agrees. Floyd also said that he wasn't a bad person and that he just recovered from Covid.
Nelson has Stiger confirm that Floyd was using his body weight against the officers to try and refuse to get into the squad car. Nelson approaches the witness stand to hand Stiger his report.
Stiger confirms he saw a white substance around Floyd's mouth in the May 25 videos. Nelson states that it's proverbial for people who are intoxicated to lie about how much they have consumed.
Nelson asks if subjects can still be a threat even if they are handcuffed, Stiger agrees. Nelson also asks if it's possible to get an officers gun when handcuffed, Stiger agrees.
Nelson asks if the scene is chaotic, if there's the possibility to miss something, Stiger says that's possible. Nelson plays a video for Stiger of Floyd saying something when in the prone position, and asks Stiger to say what Floyd says. Stiger couldn't make out what he said.
Nelson attempted to get Stiger to agree that Floyd said "I ate too many drugs," but Stiger responded that he couldn't hear what he said. Nelson then moved on.
Nelson asks if officers making a choice to not increase force can be seen as de-escalation, Stiger agrees.
"Relax, take deep breaths." Nelson asks if an officer says that statement, if that's a way to reassure the person that "we got ya." Stiger says yes, if the actions are also in the same vein, but if you're punching the person while saying that, it doesn't work.
Nelson asks Stiger about Ms. Frazier who was a by-stander and filming, and about the other by-standers.
Nelson has Stiger agree that police use-of-force can look awful, Stiger agreed.
Stiger brings up that he started being an officer after Rodney King, so there were some people filming cops at that time. Nelson asks if it happens more these days, Stiger agrees.
Nelson asks if you can tell through a camera if someone is tense or having a certain sensory experience, seemingly expecting Stiger to say no, but he says you can.
20-minute break. Thanks for tuning into our live coverage of the #DerekChauvinTrial
Court is back in session. Nelson is going back to talking about by-standers.
Nelson is asking if the crowd's intensity increased as time went on, which Stiger responds that the crowd became more concerned.
Nelson published the MPD diagram of the appropriate use-of-force contingent on the suspect's behavior. Stiger says it has to be proportional.
Firearms training is brought up, Nelson has Stiger agree that you are trained to deal with the biggest threat first.
"Simply because a person is not fighting with you, that doesn't mean you can't use some sort of force to control them." Nelson asks if Stiger agrees, he says it depends on the situation.
Nelson asks if it ultimately depends on the reasonable officer's analysis, Stiger agrees.
Nelson brings up the MPD phase one in-service defensive tactics training for 2020, which Chauvin had about one or two months before May 25, 2020.
Nelson moves for it to be published, judge asks if there are objections, Schleicher objects.
After a moment of the prosecution talking, they do not object any further. The exhibit is published. Nelson asks if Stiger agrees that "crowds are dynamic creatures." He agrees.
Stiger agrees that a reasonable officer has to be aware of what the crowd is doing, and that it may distract the officer.
Nelson is asking Stiger over and over about the perceived threat a crowd can have on officers. Stiger says name-calling isn't necessarily a threat.
Nelson continues using the language some of the by-standers used on May 25, 2020. "You are a fucking pussy!" Nelson says it loudly while pointing at Stiger and pacing back-and-forth. He asks if that can be seen as a threat. Stiger says yes, as a potential threat.
Nelson asks Stiger about the kneeling of Chauvin. He asks if Chauvin was kneeling on Floyd's neck on the carotid artery, Stiger says not necessarily the artery.
Nelson is asking about the standard police practice of placing a knee on the back of the shoulder, Stiger says that is what he has seen in multiple departments.
Stiger says once someone is handcuffed and in the prone or hobble position, even if they are still resisting, they should be put into a recovery or side position.
Nelson brings up that if someone is unconscious, in order to revive them, the training says you need to take their handcuffs off. Stiger agrees.
Nelson then brings up that the policy says that a suspect may become agitated or continue fighting when conscious again, Stiger agrees.
A short sidebar occurred. Now a ground control policy diagram is shown.
Nelson is now showing still photographs from May 25, 2020. Nelson mentions that if Chauvin's left leg is off to the side, he has less weight on that side of the body. Stiger agrees.
MPD authorizes neck restraints, there is the conscious one and the unconscious one.
Nelson is about to show more still images from May 25, 2020. Exhibit 1045 of a body-worn camera still image.
Nelson attempts to get Stiger to agree that Chauvin is putting force on Floyd's shoulder blade, however Stiger says it is hard to tell in the photo and could be his neck.
Nelson shows more still images from Officer King's body-worn camera.
Nelson shows two videos side-by-side. On the left is of a by-stander video and the right is from Officer King's body-worn camera. Nelson plays the videos, which are from the same time-frame.
Nelson asks if on the left video it appears that Chauvin's knee is on Floyd's neck. Stiger says yes. He asks if it appears in the right video that Chauvin's knee is on Floyd's shoulder. Stiger says yes.
Nelson has no further questions. Schleicher is now re-directing. He shows a video from when Floyd is partially in the squad car.
Stiger agrees that it looks like Floyd may have been in emotional distress and that a reasonable officer would have taken that into account.
Stiger says the use-of-force used by Chauvin on Floyd was excessive.
Schleicher asks if an officer can opt not to believe a suspect when they say they are having medical problems and in distress, Stiger says no, they need to take what they say into account and are responsible for their care.
Stiger says after someone is handcuffed while in prone position, then they need to be put on their side or in recovery position.
Nelson is now re-crossing. He asks if Stiger was there that day on May 25. Stiger says no, he wasn't.
Nelson asks how many reviewers look at a use-of-force investigation. Stiger goes through the detailed process, which is at least 15 people total.
Nelson asks about the review board of 5 people, and asks if it's always unanimous, which Stiger says no.
Sgt. Stiger is excused from the witness stand. Now on the stand is a Senior Special Agent in the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) James Reyerson. He is licensed as a peace officer. He started in the NYPD.
Reyerson also worked in the DEA specifically dealing with the drug cartel.
Reyerson was hired by the BCA in 2018. From 2013-2016 he was doing corporate work, and was not a licensed peace officer.
In the BCA he was trained on writing search warrants, interrogations, medical examinations, etc. He is currently a 3rd year doctoral student.
Reyerson explains what the BCA is and says he was the lead investigator on the May 25, 2020 case of the death of George Floyd.
Reyerson says he was called around 9:45 p.m. on May 25. He, Agent Phil, and another agent met at City Hall.
The BCA has critical incidents' protocols. When Reyerson arrived at City Hall he learned of the 4 involved officers.
As part of the critical incidents' protocol, pictures of the involved officers were taken. According to Reyerson, Chauvin weighed 140 pounds. However with all of the gear he was wearing, he weighed an additional 30-40 pounds.
Reyerson acquired all the body-worn cameras and downloaded the footage, the weapons from the officers, the radio conversations, the 911 call, etc.
Reyerson then went to the scene of the May 25 incident at about 2 a.m. on May 26.
The crime scene team arrived. The team leader was Mackenzie Anderson.
Reyerson recalls seeing the police squad car and Floyd's personal vehicle at the scene.
He saw a manila envelope with two $20 bills inside. He seized for evidence.
Lunch break. Court will resume at 1:15 p.m. central.
Court is back. Reyerson is asked about the manila envelope. Inside the envelope there was a pipe, cigarettes, and the two $20 bills. Exhibit 198 is shown of the two bills.
The bills were sent to the FBI for investigation. One of the bills is torn. The pipe was given to BCA for testing.
The squad car and Floyd's vehicle were brought to a secure location where the crime scene investigators processed them on May 27, 2020.
Reyerson says he watched more security camera footage acquired from May 25, 2020. Exhibit 1 is published, which is a birds-eye-view diagram of the incident's location.
Reyerson checked the time stamps of all the videos. The Cup Foods video was 45 seconds ahead of the body-worn camera videos. The Dragon Wok video was 24 minutes ahead of the body-worn camera footage.
Dragon Wok did not want to give over their footage, so the BCA wrote a search warrant.
Exhibit 52 is published. It's a video from the Dragon Wok outdoor security camera outside showing George Floyd and another individual (seemingly Morries Hall) exiting Floyd's vehicle and crossing the street toward Cup Foods.
Frank, one of the State attorneys and Nelson (defendant attorney) are conversing about Exhibit 55 with the audio cut-off.
Frank says he'll come back to that later. He now asks Reyerson about the autopsy. He asks if a blood sample was taken from Floyd. The BCA received a sample for testing.
Prior to testing, Frank asks if Reyerson knew of potential preliminary drug use, he says from recordings he listened to he knew that there was a possibility.
Reyerson talks about the processing of Floyd's vehicle. The vehicle was first brought to a secure lot, and then to the BCA garage.
Crime scene tape was placed all around the vehicle with a date to make sure no one entered it before processing. According to Reyerson, the feds wanted the squad car processed again.
The defense team got to look at the squad car in the secure lot, and noticed a pill, and asked for it to be processed again. The vehicle was then brought back to the BCA garage.
Reyerson received medical records from two hospitals about Floyd including the Hennepin County Medical Center.
Frank is asking about the technical side of the squad car, that it is a hybrid vehicle. He asked Reyerson if it has a catalytic converter. He says yes.
Frank is now publishing 127. He wants to focus on the timing of the video. He is asking what Reyerson sees in the video. It is when Floyd is first put in the prone position on the ground.
Reyerson says Chauvin's left knee appears to be on Floyd's neck.
Frank asks if there is a time in Darnella Frazier's video where Floyd stops being verbal, Reyerson says yes. Frank shows the video up until the time where Floyd stops talking. It is also when the liquid streams away from Floyd's body.
Frank has the video stop at 20:25:08, and it is where Floyd appears not to be moving at all.
Frank plays the video for over 2 minutes longer, which is when the paramedics first arrive. Floyd is still not moving or speaking.
As the video continues, it shows Chauvin finally stand up off of Floyd, and grab his right arm and pull his limp body onto his left side and Chauvin begins dragging his body toward the gurney, meanwhile one of the paramedics attempts to hold Floyd's head up.
Frank is done questioning Reyerson. Nelson is about to cross-examine.
Nelson asks Reyerson to confirm the number of BCA agents involved in the investigation, Reyerson says about 50. Reyerson also confirms there were about 25 FBI agents involved.
Reyerson confirms there were about 200 citizen witnesses interviewed. Nelson has Reyerson confirm that he and the other investigators compiled a ton of material and evidence, but not all of it was pertinent.
Reyerson confirms there were individual police reports written and submitted about the case--440 reports.
Nelson asks about the tip line and how agents had to follow-up on all of it. He says how the investigation has gone on since the incident happened.
Nelson asks about the 2nd squad car search asked by the defense, which happened in January 2021. He asks if Reyerson is suggesting the defense placed pills in the squad car, which Reyerson says no he is not suggesting that.
Nelson brings up the critical incident policy. He asks if Reyerson was on the scene when Floyd's vehicle was first searched, he says he was present for part of it.
Reyerson says out of the 700+ photographs he saw from the first squad car search, he didn't see any pills.
Per the critical incident policy, all officers at the crime scene on the night of May 25 and morning of May 26 had their body-worn cameras on.
Reyerson looks annoyed as Nelson gets confused about what exhibit number the video is that he is trying to show. After playing some seconds of the video, Nelson realizes he has the wrong exhibit open.
Nelson takes the video down. He now pulls up exhibit 127 and asks Reyerson to watch Floyd's left arm in the video. Nelson asks if he sees Floyd's arm lift up.
Nelson asks Reyerson if he heard Floyd say "I ate too many drugs." Nelson asked the previous witness the same. He now plays the video. Reyerson agrees that it sounds like Floyd said that.
Nelson now asks about the fluid coming from near Floyd's body. He asks Reyerson if it appears to be fluid from the vehicle, Reyerson agrees.
Frank is re-directing. He asks if in the hybrid squad car if the AC can run with just the battery and not the gas engine. Reyerson says yes.
Frank brings up that Nelson showed a quick clip and asked before he played it for Reyerson if it sounded like Floyd said something specific. Frank asked if that was the first time Reyerson listened to that clip, Reyerson says yes.
Nelson re-crosses and asks Reyerson if he is a car mechanic. He says no. Nelson asks if he knew if the car was running with gas or electric at the time, Reyerson says no. Nelson is done.
The court is discussing in private for 10 minutes about a specific exhibit. The jury left the room.
After more than 20 minutes, the court is back from break.
Frank is showing the video again, in longer length, that Nelson showed earlier of where he asked Reyerson what Floyd said. When re-watching Reyerson heard Floyd say "I ain't do no drugs."
Nelson is now in cross and is requesting permission to publish a portion of a video.
Exhibit 55 is published and being shown--the outdoor Dragon Wok security footage.
In the video, Nelson asks what Reyerson sees. Reyerson sees the person in the red hat (seemingly Morries Hall) throw something out of his backpack.
Reyerson is excused. Now on the witness stand is Mackenzie Anderson.
Anderson has worked for the BCA forensics lab since 2009. The DNA training program was a year-long.
In 2014, Anderson joined the crime scene team, and in 2016 she became the team leader.
The lab has different sections to process certain evidence--firearms, toxicology, etc.
To be on the crime scene team, Anderson had to go through trainings, including crime scene reconstruction and blood patterns.
In the last year, Anderson went to about 30 crime scenes, which she says is more than normal.
Anderson got a call to go to the scene on May 25, 2020. She was the team leader, and a technician and photographer joined her.
The crime scene team arrived at about 1:15 a.m. on May 26, 2020 and were there for 2 hours.
When they arrived they got a briefing from the agent-in-charge. They learned that a Cup Foods employee called 911 about a possible counterfeit bill, then officers arrived and tried to arrest Floyd, then after he was in custody he went unconscious and was taken to the hospital.
Anderson realized that there wasn't much evidence to be processed on the scene. She ended up watching a video of the incident, which informed her and her team where Floyd was on the street. She didn't see anything there.
Exhibits 129-135 are received. 129 is published.
Exhibit 131 shows Floyd's vehicle with squad car 320 parked behind.
Exhibit 134 shows squad car 320 in the background, and Cup Foods is on the left. It had rained since the incident--the pavement is shiny with rain.
After leaving the crime scene, the team agreed on a time to process the vehicles on May 27, 2020. Anderson says it is customary to wait a day to process.
They started processing the vehicles at 9 a.m. on May 27. It was Anderson and two others. The first step is photographing and documenting the outside. Then opening the doors and taking photographs of the interior. After that they start going through contents of vehicle.
"There really was really little." Anderson says of the amount of evidence and content.
Frank then offers exhibits 137-149, which are photographs taken of Floyd's vehicle on May 27. Anderson talks about the information she had about the vehicle. That there was potentially some blood or potentially counterfeit money.
Anderson thought there may be some blood because she heard there was a struggle between Floyd and officers, and heard there may be blood from his nose or mouth. She did not know anything about possible drug use at the time.
Exhibit 138 shows the driver side of Floyd's vehicle. Exhibit 139 shows the passenger side.
Exhibit 142 is taken of the front passenger side showing the front console. A white pill is seen in the center front console. Exhibit 140 is of the rear seat. Exhibit 141 is of the trunk.
Evidence tent 46 shows an open and empty box of Suboxone, which is a prescription treatment for opioid addiction.
Evidence tent 46 and these two photos are from the January 2021 search. Exhibit 147 shows an unopened box of Suboxone. Exhibit 148 shows a white pill in the front console. Anderson says they found two pills.
Anderson now talks about the search of squad car 320. This picture is of the driver side of the rear seat.
Exhibit 160 is of the rear seat of the squad car. One of Floyd's shoes is on the floor. Exhibit 159 shows the rear door on the passenger side.
Exhibit 169 shows white tags on the rear seat. The red circle shows a white pill. The pill was not taken out of the vehicle or processed because Anderson was not told to look for pills or drugs, so she initially did not know it was necessary.
The two pictures are from when Anderson searched the squad car again and took the pill into evidence; evidence 51. Evidence 52 is of a white crushed substance that Anderson says could be a portion of Evidence 51.
Anderson did DNA testing on Evidence 51. First she tested if there was saliva on it, which there was. So she tested it for DNA.
Anderson explains the process of testing the pill for saliva and DNA. She uses swabs and then cuts a piece of it off.
Anderson found that the swab collected from the pill matched a sample of Floyd's DNA.
Evidence 53 was another piece of evidence found in the squad car during the second search--a brownish/red substance. Anderson said she thought it had a similar make-up to the evidence 51 and 52.
The white stickers in this photograph show blood stains on the rear seat in the squad car.
More white stickers showing blood stains in the back of the squad car. Where it says "PH+" on the sticker means after testing it was positive for blood.
Anderson says after testing the blood for DNA, she found that it was Floyd's blood.
10-minute break. Halfway through; 5 minutes left.
Nelson decided not to cross-examine. Anderson was excused.
Breahna Giles is now on the witness stand, she is a forensic scientist with the MN BCA.
Giles tests substances to see what controlled substances may or may not be present. She tested a glass pipe that was taken into evidence. She performed a presumptive test (color test) by scraping out residue.
The results of the testing came up with THC--the main psychoactive ingredient in Marijuana. No plant material was found, only charred residue.
Evidence 48 were two white round tablets (pills) with apparent pharmaceutical markings. "RP" on one side and numbers on the other.
At first Giles tested one of the pills. For pills that have markings, she takes the weight and then looks up the markings. Then does a confirmatory test.
She uses a razor blade and takes a scraping of the pill. In the database she found that they could have oxycodone and acetaminophen in them. The results were that they had methamphetamine and fentanyl.
She then tested evidence 51, which was a partial white and pink tablet with no observable markings. She cut part of it off to test. The result was methamphetamine.
There were also trace amounts of other substances in evidence 51.
Evidence 52 was also tested. It was a partial amount of a tablet. The result was methamphetamine. Evidence 53 was also tested. Similar in appearance to 51 and 52. The result was methamphetamine.
Nelson cross examines. He confirms what she tested and the weights of the substances.
Nelson asks about 51, how it looked most like a pill, Giles says yes it looked like a partial pill.
Nelson has Giles confirm where the substances came from, that 48 came from the front console of Floyd's vehicle, and that the others came from the squad car.
Nelson asked Giles if the trace amount found in the pills was fentanyl, Giles says she cannot say. Nelson ends questioning. Giles is excused.
Susan Leith is now on the stand. She used to do animal testing. She works for NMS labs as a forensic chemist. She does drug testing for controlled substances and pharmaceutical drugs. She also does peer-review of others' data.
Leith explains how when testing drugs she runs it three separate times and finds the mean of those triplicates.
Susan Neith* She explains the intricacies of drug analysis. Also how there is a peer-review process, which is standard for NMS labs.
Neith received 3 pills/partial pills from BCA to test. She didn't find anything out of the ordinary with them.
She observed that the first tablet was a partial white round tablet, on one side there were numbers and the other side had a capitol "RP." The other pill looked uniform with a "P" on one side an numbers on the other.
Evidence item 51 was a partial tablet that was white and red, and there was no writing on it. Her findings for the 1st in 48 was that the fentanyl concentration was less than 1% and methamphetamine was 1.9%, the 2nd in 48 was also less than 1% fentanyl, meth was 2%.
Item 51 fentanyl was less than 1% and methamphetamine was 2.9%. Neith confirms that the amount of fentanyl is common with what she has seen. The amount of methamphetamine found is low for what she has usually seen--she usually sees 90-100%.
Nelson does not cross-examine. Neith is excused. Court is adjourned for the day.
Judge Cahill says he expects court to begin at 9:15 a.m. central tomorrow, but there will be some items to work out beforehand. Thank you for tuning in to our coverage. Stay up-to-date through our #DerekChauvinTrial page: unicornriot.ninja/derek-chauvin-…

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