George Floyd death: Seventh day of Chauvin murder trial begins

Johnny Mercil Ap

George Floyd arrest breached Minneapolis police policy, chief says in Derek Chauvin murder trial

Lt. Mercil, who supervises the training division's use of force training, told jurors that a still-image of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck is not a restraint taught to Minneapolis Police Department officers.

Prosecutors in Chauvin's murder trial presented two witnesses to try to further illustrate that he disregarded training on the appropriate use of force and dealing with crisis situations when he knelt on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes.

The handcuffed 46-year-old Black man fell limp and stopped breathing during the May 2020 arrest.

Prosecutor Steve Schleicher asked Mackenzie whether officers are taught "that if a person can talk, that means that they can breathe?"

"I would say no", Mercil said.

Chauvin, who was sacked from the police force after the incident, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and manslaughter. The incident prompted protests in many cities around the United States and internationally against racism and police brutality.

Lieutenant Johnny Mercil, who teaches the proper use of force for the department, was shown by one of the prosecutors a photograph of Chauvin using his knee to pin Floyd's neck to the ground and was asked if the officer was using an authorised neck restraint under the circumstances.

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"It's very important to be careful", Mercil told jurors.

Mercil agreed with Nelson that an officer could hold a neck restraint after rendering someone unconscious if they had to wait on another officer to arrive.

Nelson also questioned Mercil about safety precautions officers need to take when using neck restraints and using body weight to restrain individuals.

But Schleicher asked Mercil once a subject is under control and no longer resistant, whether it's inappropriate to hold them in a position where the knee is across their back or neck.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo on Monday told the jury that Chauvin's training required him to stop the restraint and provide first-aid treatment while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

Yang said officers are taught to make critical decisions in dealing with people in crisis, including those suffering mental problems or the effects of drug use, and then de-escalate the situation. Yang testified that Chauvin completed 40 hours of training in how to deal with suspects who are going through crisis.

The friend, Morries Hall, was in the auto with Floyd when police arrived. Hall has said that he would invoke his constitutional right against self-incrimination if he had to appear in the witness stand.

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A bystander recorded Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes, and Floyd is heard in the video saying he can not breathe.

Floyd's girlfriend, Courteney Ross, testified last week that she and Floyd struggled with opioid addiction, and that she thought Hall sometimes illegally sold pills to Floyd.

The judge said he would rule later on Hall's request not to testify.

"I don't see how that would put him closer to criminal liability, just from those observations", Cahill said, giving Nelson until Thursday to draft potential questions.

But the county medical examiner's office ultimately classified Mr Floyd's death a homicide - a death caused by someone else.

Chauvin's lawyer, Eric Nelson, has argued that Chauvin "did exactly what he had been trained to do over his 19-year career" and that it was Floyd's use of illegal drugs and his underlying health conditions - not the officer's knee - that killed him.

Hall attended the hearing via a video link from a county jail where he is being held on unrelated charges of domestic abuse, according to court and county jail records.

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