Chauvin’s Force Against George Floyd Was Not Deadly, Court Hears

April 13, 2021 Updated: April 13, 2021

An expert testifying in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin told the court on Tuesday that Chauvin’s knee restraint of George Floyd was “justified” and not deadly.

“I felt that Derek Chauvin was justified, was acting with objective reasonableness, following Minneapolis Police Department policy and current standards of law enforcement in his interactions with Mr. Floyd,” Barry Brodd, a use-of-force expert brought in by Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson, said in the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minnesota.

Asked if Chauvin’s force was deadly, Brodd said it was not.

“I’ll give you an example that I used to teach my academy classes. So, officers respond to a domestic violence situation, and the suspect is still there, and he fights with the officers and the officers are justified in using a taser to overcome this person’s non-compliance. They tase the individual and [the] individual falls to the ground, strikes their head, and dies. So that isn’t an incident of deadly force. That’s an incident of an accidental death,” Brodd added. “In my review, I would look to see whether the suspect’s resistance to justify the use of the taser was objectively reasonable.”

Police officers are allowed to overcome resistance on the part of subjects by resorting to an escalating level of use of force options, the former officer, who is a certified defensive tactics instructor, said.

Once a subject is controlled, officers should reduce their force but need to maintain control.

Brodd also said that possible drug influence has “quite a large impact” on how officers analyze how much force to use.

Epoch Times Photo
In this screengrab from video, defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, speaks as defendant, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, right, listens, as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides over motions in the trial of Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn., on April 13, 2021. (Court TV via AP/Pool)

Brodd was one of Nelson’s first witnesses as the prosecution rested its case near the beginning of proceedings on Tuesday after questioning over a dozen witnesses.

Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s back and neck on May 25, 2020, after officers got a 911 call concerning a possible counterfeit bill in Cup Foods in Minneapolis. Floyd had resisted being placed into a patrol car and asked to be placed on the ground.

Prosecutors allege the force utilized by Chauvin and other officers led to Floyd’s death while the defense maintains the drugs Floyd ingested, as well as his heart conditions, were the reason he died.

Use-of-force experts and officers testifying for the prosecution earlier in the trial have said that Chauvin’s force was “unreasonable” and “totally unnecessary.”

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said last week that Chauvin’s actions violated the department’s policies.

Additionally, Dr. Andrew Baker, the¬†Hennepin County medical examiner, testified that Floyd’s death was caused by law enforcement restraint. Baker did say that drugs and the enlarged heart were contributing factors.

Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter, and third-degree murder. The three other officers involved in Floyd’s arrest will go on trial for aiding and abetting murder charges later this year.

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