Key witness in Floyd murder trial seeks to avoid testifying

In this image from video Minneapolis Police Crisis Intervention Coordinator Ker Yang testifies as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides Tuesday in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Mi

In America it's the seventh day of the murder trial of the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin who is accused of killing George Floyd last summer.

Medaria Arradondo told Mr Chauvin's murder trial that the "sanctity of life" was at the core of a police officer's use of force.

Under cross-examination by Nelson, Mercil testified that officers are trained in some situations to use their knee across a suspect's back or shoulder and employ their body weight to maintain control.

Before he was pinned to the ground, a frantic Mr Floyd struggled with police who were trying to put him in a squad vehicle, saying he was claustrophobic.

Questioned by the defence, Mackenzie testified that officers must take into account the impact drugs may have on a subject's behaviour and that they should also consider the safety of their surroundings when deciding whether to administer first aid.

No witnesses at the scene were arrested, and several of them have testified that they urged officers to check Mr Floyd's pulse and provide him with medical care.

Mr Mercil told the court that Mr Chauvin should have recognised that it was "time to de-escalate the [level of] force" once Mr Floyd fell unconscious, and that Mr Floyd should have been moved into a different position to avoid asphyxiation.

Sgt Jody Stiger, a use of force expert for the Los Angeles Police Department, testified that officers were initially justified in their actions because Mr Floyd was "actively resisting" arrest as he was being placed in the patrol auto.

Sergeant Ker Yang, a crisis intervention training coordinator, testified that Chauvin completed 40 hours of training on dealing with suspects going through a crisis.

Prosecutors in the second week of the trial are also expected to zero in on Chauvin's training in the use of force.


"I would say no", Lieutenant Mercil testified.

The full report said Floyd died of "cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression".

Prosecutors and fellow officers have criticised Mr Chauvin and the other arresting officers for not providing Mr Floyd with medical assistance before ambulances arrived.

Chauvin, who is white, has argued he followed police training when he kept his knee pushed into Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes on May 25, 2020, as the handcuffed 46-year-old Black man fell limp and stopped breathing. "So you want to always have de-escalation layered into those actions of using force." the police chief said. They are trying to show that Mr Chauvin broke rules, and was a rogue officer.

The police chief told the court Mr Chauvin's extended use of restraint was "in no way, shape or form" part of department policy or training, "and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values".

The judge instructed defense attorney Eric Nelson to prepare written questions for Hall's attorney to review. Hall was also a passenger in the SUV that Floyd was driving.

The city moved soon after Floyd's death to ban police chokeholds and neck restraints.

"There's really a very small narrow topic that might be permissible", Judge Peter Cahill said as Hall's lawyers argued that it was impossible for him to be cross-examined without incriminating himself.

Cahill sympathized, saying he could envision only a narrow set of questions that attorneys might be able to ask Hall, pertaining to Floyd's behavior in the vehicle, without risking self-incrimination.

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