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George Floyd officer used 'most of his weight during restraint', trial hears
7 April 2021, 20:05
The officer accused of murdering George Floyd was using most of his weight the entire time he kneeled on his alleged victim, a use of force expert has told a court.
Jody Stiger, of the Los Angeles Police Department, also said Derek Chauvin had his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck from the moment Chauvin and officers put Mr Floyd on the ground to the time paramedics arrived.
Prosecutors say that lasted around nine and a half minutes.
Mr Stiger went through five photos and told jurors at the trial in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that Chauvin's knee was on Mr Floyd's neck or neck area in each one.
"That particular force did not change during the entire restraint period?" prosecutor Steve Schleicher asked.
"Correct," Mr Stiger replied.
His evidence follows defence lawyer Eric Nelson’s bid to point out moments in footage when, he said, Chauvin did not appear to have his knee on Mr Floyd's neck.
Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter over Mr Floyd's death on May 25.
Mr Floyd, 46, was arrested outside a market after being accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 note.
Video shows him crying out that he could not breathe and his death sparked protests in the US and across the world.
Mr Nelson also suggested bystanders distracted the officers as they yelled at Chauvin, and some police witnesses said jeering onlookers can make things more difficult for officers.
But Mr Stiger told Mr Schleicher he "did not perceive them as being a threat" and most of their yelling was due to "their concern for Mr Floyd".
Mr Stiger also gave evidence yesterday, in which he said officers were justified to use force while Mr Floyd resisted their efforts to put him in a police car, but once he stopped resisting, officers "should have slowed down or stopped their force as well".
Mr Stiger said that after reviewing video of the arrest, "my opinion was that the force was excessive".