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Use of force expert George Floyd trial ‘killer’ cop Chauvin too far

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Use of force expert Jody Stiger, from the LAPD, told Derek Chauvin’s murder trial that the alleged killer cop’s use of force while arresting George Floyd was inappropriate (Pictures: AP)

George Floyd’s alleged murderer Derek Chauvin went too far in restraining him, a use of force has claimed. Los Angeles Police Department Sergeant Jody Stiger – a national use of force specialist – hit out at Chauvin, 45, for kneeling on Floyd’s neck after cuffing his hands behind his back while he lay on the ground.

Sgt Stiger told Wednesday’s hearing: ‘(Floyd) was in the prone position. He was handcuffed. He was not attempting to resist, he was not attempting to assault the officers… I didn’t hear any verbalization of any threats toward the officers. My opinion was that no force should have been used once he was in that position.’

Stiger explained how he had been trained on the dangers of ‘positional asphyxia’ since the mid-1990s, and said a suspect can suffocate if positioned wrongly, even without a police officer’s bodyweight on top of them. He added: ‘When you add body weight to that, then it just increases the possibility of death.’

Speaking at the Hennepin Government Center in Minneapolis, where Chauvin’s trial is ongoing, Stiger said he believed Chauvin may have been trying to use a technique known as ‘pain compliance’ during Floyd’s May 2020 arrest, which ended in his death.

Derek Chauvin, pictured right in court on April 2, denies charges of second and third-degree murder, as well as manslaughter (Picture: Getty)

But Stiger appeared to concede that that technique may also have been misused. Asked by prosecutor Steve Schleicher: ‘What if there is no opportunity for compliance?’ He answered: ‘Then, at that point, it’s just pain.’

Stiger’s testimony came two days after Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo – Chauvin’s former boss – took to the witness stand to condemn the manner of Floyd’s arrest on Monday.

Arradondo said of Chauvin’s decision to kneel on Floyd’s neck: ‘Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting — and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that — that should have stopped.’

He continued: ‘There’s an initial reasonableness of trying to just get him under control in the first few seconds.

‘But once there was no longer any resistance, and clearly when Mr Floyd was no longer responsive and even motionless, to continue to apply that level of force to a person proned out, handcuffed behind their back, that in no way shape or form is anything that is by policy, part of our training and is certainly not part of our ethics or values.’

Chauvin denies charges of second and third-degree murder, as well as manslaughter over Floyd’s death outside a Minneapolis convenience store last May.

Floyd, a 46 year-old security guard and father, was arrested after trying to pay for groceries with a fake $20 bill.

Footage of Floyd shouting ‘I can’t breathe’ and ‘Mama’ as he died sparked worldwide revulsion, and triggered ongoing Black Lives Matter protests.

Chauvin claims Floyd was killed by drugs including the powerful opioid fentanyl found in his system, as well as an underlying heart condition and Covid infection.

Prosecutors insist Floyd died with those conditions, but because of Chauvin’s decision to kneel on his neck.

Chauvin was fired from his job by Minneapolis Police in the wake of Floyd’s death.

Three other cops at the scene – Thomas Lane, Tou thao, and J Alexander Kueng – deny charges of aiding and abetting murder, and face trial at a later date.

They were also fired from their jobs.

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