What You Need To Know:
One day after Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo told jurors that Derek Chauvin’s restraint of George Floyd “absolutely” violated department policy, two other police officers testified about the use of force training within the department.
Prosecutors called several witnesses to the stand from the Minneapolis Police Department, to establish what departmental policies and procedures Derek Chauvin was trained in.
Tuesday’s first witness, Minneapolis Police Sergeant Ker Yang, explained how the department’s crisis intervention team responds to people suffering behavioral or mental health crises. He said officers are trained to de-escalate a situation whenever “safe and feasible.”
Police Lieutenant Johnny Mercil, who trains officers in use of force and defensive tactics, followed Sergeant Yang on the stand. Mercil testified officers were authorized to use neck restraints by applying pressure to the side of a person’s neck to gain compliance, but only for people who were actively resisting or assaultive, and only if other techniques had not worked. Looking at a picture of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck, Mercil said it was not a department-trained neck restraint.
It should be noted that neck restraints at the Minneapolis police department have since been banned.
Minneapolis Police medical coordinator Nicole MacKenzie took the stand after lunch. She explained her job as one who provides first aid training to officers in the field and to recruit cadets at the police academy. Officer MacKenzie testified she recognized Derek Chauvin because he filled in for a day as her field training officer early in her career with the department. She said Chauvin has also taken her courses, which cover CPR, use of an automated external defibrillator for someone suffering cardiac arrest and administering the drug narcan, which can counter an opioid overdose.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial on charges of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of 46-year-old African American George Floyd, May 25, 2020.