LAPD use-of-force expert continues testimony today in the Derek Chauvin trial. He is starting now. Here's my story from yesterday:…
Sgt. Jody Stiger of the Los Angeles Police Department testifies that by his count, Minneapolis police officers restrained George Floyd for a total 9 minutes, 29 seconds. This figure has fluctuated since May 25, depending on who's counting.
This is when Sgt. Stiger begins counting, when the officers have taken Floyd out of the police SUV and put him on the ground, handcuffed, face down:
This photo shows Chauvin's left knee was placed on Floyd's neck, and his right knee was on his back area:
Shortly before they stopped restraining Floyd:
And the last photo showing the restraint period, with Chauvin's knees still on Floyd:
Stiger says this photo indicates Chauvin was trying to use "pain compliance" — squeezing the fingers of Floyd's left hand to get him to obey commands — if they can't comply, "at that point it's just pain," Stiger says:
Stiger said Floyd did not pose an immediate threat to the officers; was not resisting them; did not threaten them and in fact it was 5 officers against 1 on the scene (he’s counting a park police officer).
Stiger says in his opinion no force should’ve been used once Floyd was handcuffed and face down on the ground. Instead, they used deadly force, he says.
Stiger says putting someone face down with handcuffs can be deadly even without adding three officers’ body weight. #DerekChauvinTrial
Sgt. Stiger says of the bystanders which the defense has portrayed as a threat: “I did not perceive them as being a threat,” Stiger said. “They were merely filming and most of it was their concern for Mr. Floyd.”
On cross-examination, Stiger says he's never previously testified in court as an expert on police use of force, and has once been qualified as an expert by a court, in LA
Chauvin’s attorney is saying MPD’s policy also requires use of force to be judged based on the objective reasonableness of the officer on the scene, not with 20/20 hindsight.
Chauvin's attorney is doing some sort of windup here, not sure when he's gonna land this. He's gone thru the MPD policy on use of force, now getting into specifics of this call.
Chauvin's attorney is talking about how Chauvin was called to assist the first 2 officers on scene; that 3 officers couldn't get Floyd in the back of the squad car, and while Floyd was saying he couldn’t breathe while in the back seat, he was resisting them.
Chauvin’s attorney is talking about how a reasonable officer must take into consideration what the suspect is saying (“I can’t breathe,” “everything hurts”) versus their actions (resisting being put into squad car).
Nelson plays a portion of a body cam video and asks Stiger if it sounds like Floyd said, while groaning in pain, “Does it sound like he said ‘I ate too many drugs’ ." Stiger can't make it out and neither can I.
Nelson notes that not everybody was walking around with video cameras when Stiger first became a cop; Stiger notes that after Rodney King's beating in LA, there were people with cameras way back then. On a 20-minute break now.
Chauvin’s attorney is now showing Stiger a training presentation on crowd control that Chauvin went through about a month before Floyd’s death.
Chauvin’s attorney again talking about how officers are taught to never underestimate a crowd’s potential; that crowds can distract officers, that being called names can distract and be perceived as a threat. "An officer has to be prepared for the unexpected,” Nelson says.
Nelson saying officers are trained to look for potential signs of aggression/threats, such as raised voices and in this case, being called a “fucking pussy” or having a bystander say, “if you touch me like that, I would like to slap the fuck outta you.”
Nelson shows training demonstration of handcuffing a person by putting a knee across the back; Stiger notes they're trained to stay away from the neck though.
Nelson is showing bodycam video shots indicating Chauvin's knee was on the base of the neck (right), between the shoulder blades, even though on the bystander video (left) it appears his knee is on Floyd's neck when paramedics arrived:
During redirect, Stiger confirms the risk of positional asphyxia is related to pressure on the neck OR the body, saying any additional pressure complicates breathing.
And that concludes Stiger's testimony. Next witness is Senior Special Agent James Reyerson of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, assigned to the new use of force team:
Reyerson is a Minnesota native who first worked for NYPD in 2007, then the DEA, assigned to NYC and then Arizona to investigate cartel activity. He returned to MN in 2013 to do corporate investigative work, then Metro Transit briefly before being hired by state fraud bureau.
Reyerson got the call on May 25 around 9:45 pm; arrived at city hall 30-40 minutes later. He took photos of the cops that night shortly after arriving, including this one of Derek Chauvin:
Reyerson said Chauvin weighed about 140 pounds & the weight of his equipment was about 30-40 pounds. He got the body-worn camera videos from all four officers that night.
We are back after lunch break. Reyerson testifies he found in the trunk two $20 bills (one ripped in half), a pipe, cigarettes and a card.
His photo of the $20 bills:
Reyerson says he got security camera video from Cup Foods and Dragon Wok (across street) but Dragon Wok didn't turn it over they had to get a search warrant to obtain theirs. Now playing the video, showing Floyd and Hall going to Cup.

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More from @deenafaywinter

8 Apr
I have a few minutes before the Chauvin trial resumes, so a few observations from inside the courtroom today. Dr. Martin Tobin seemed to have the jury's full attention from start to finish today. When he talked, they listened. When the prosecution played a video, they watched.🧵
And when he made a major point, they took notes. A few samples: When Tobin said Floyd died from a low level of oxygen, or asphyxia, nearly every juror was taking notes.
When he went on to explain the cause of Floyd's low oxygen level was shallow breathing, the one juror who hadn't taken notes, started taking notes.
Read 19 tweets
7 Apr
The prosecution has shown videos showing George Floyd was placed on the ground, handcuffed, at 8:19 p.m., stopped talking at 8:24:58 but Chauvin still had his knee on him about three minutes later and when paramedics walk up at 8:27:40 pm. Image
Chauvin's attorney, Nelson, confirms Reyerson was not implying the defense put drug pills in the police SUV when it searched them; he says no he's not. I think Nelson is just making sure the jury doesn't think that was implied in earlier testimony.
Reyerson acknowledges that he did not notice the pills in Floyd's Mercedes "out of the 750 photos I reviewed."
Read 25 tweets
6 Apr
Testimony resumes this afternoon in Derek Chauvin's trial with Minneapolis police officer Nicole Mackenzie, medical support coordinator for MPD: Image
Mackenzie testifies that officers shouldn’t just wait for paramedics to arrive, saying they should provide first aid — “if it’s a critical situation, you have to do both."
Mackenzie said if a person doesn’t have a pulse, officers should immediately start CPR. Says it's not true that “if you can talk, you can breathe,” saying “Just because they’re speaking doesn’t mean they’re breathing adequately.” (Re: comments officer made to Floyd and the crowd)
Read 23 tweets
6 Apr
George Floyd's passenger, Morries Hall, is appearing in court today via Zoom to try to quash a subpoena, saying he's invoking his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. His attorney says he has been offered no immunity, so that's why he's invoking the 5th.
His attorney says he would invoke the 5th re: any activities that took place before & after police arrived. There's an allegation that Floyd ingested controlled substances, and drugs have been found in the SUV they were in.
Hall’s attorney argues that requiring Hall to testify about that day puts him in proximity with George Floyd and exposes him to a third-degree murder charge.
Read 31 tweets
5 Apr
Getting ready to live-tweet another day of testimony in the #DerekChauvinTrial. Motions begin shortly. Here's my wrapup of testimony Friday:…
Today we *expect* to hear testimony from an ER physician, and possibly Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo.
Motions were supposed to begin at 8:30, but the courtroom reporter says the judge is discussing something with the attorneys this morning and ordered no audio/video. However, the 2 courtroom reporters were allowed to stay in the room & report on the matter later.
Read 77 tweets
31 Mar
Testimony resumes this morning from the off-duty firefighter who was out for a walk when she came upon George Floyd under the knee of Minneapolis police officers. It got tense yesterday between the defense attorney, judge and firefighter/EMT Genevieve Hansen:
Hansen is back; Chauvin's attorney asks just one more question: whether she showed any ID on the scene. Prosecutor asks whether she had any with her, which she did not.
Prosecutor asks a few questions and Hansen is done testifying. Next up: Christopher Martin, a 19-year-old man from Bloomington who lived above Cup Foods when Floyd died outside the store.
Read 79 tweets

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