Use-of-Force Trainer Testifies in Chauvin Trial

In this image from video Morries Hall appears via video as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill discusses motions before the court Tuesday

Yang was the latest of several Minneapolis police officers to testify as prosecutors aim to prove that Chauvin failed to follow training when he pinned his knee on the back of Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes.

Prosecutor Steve Schleicher asked Mercil if that restraint was part of the training at the Minneapolis Police Department. At that point, Mercil said that Chauvin's use of force was not a neck restraint and appeared to be a body weight hold.

"I don't know what kind of improvised position that is" she said, after being shown a photo of Chauvin with his knee on Mr Floyd's neck.

Chauvin, 45, who is white, faces two murder charges - second-degree unintentional murder and third-degree murder - in Floyd's death.

Mr Floyd's treatment by police was captured on widely seen bystander video, that sparked protests around the United States as people demonstrated against racial inequality. Floyd, 46, was arrested outside a neighborhood market after being accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. The footage of the arrest prompted widespread outrage, setting off protests across the US and around the world.

The Hennepin County medical examiner's office said that Floyd died of "cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression".

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.

Minneapolis- Minneapolis police Lt. Johnny Mercil took the stand on Tuesday and had taught a use of force training class attended by Derek Chauvin in October 2018.

Before the jury was brought into the court, Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill heard arguments on a request by a friend of Floyd to quash a subpoena by prosecutors for him to testify.

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.

In this image from video Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill discusses motions before the court Tuesday
LIVE UPDATES: Derek Chauvin trial continues Tuesday

Nelson acknowledged the images were hard to make out.

Mercil also testified that circumstances can change minute to minute; that a suspect can go from being compliant and peaceful to violent, and he agreed all those considerations play a part in the use of force.

Sergeant Ker Yang, a crisis intervention training coordinator for the department, testified as the day's first witness that Chauvin completed 40 hours of training on dealing with suspects going through a crisis. But once he was on the ground and stopped resisting, "at that point the officers ... should have slowed down or stopped their force as well".

Kneeling on people's necks is not what officers are taught, Derek Chauvin's former boss told the jury.

Mercil also agreed that it would be inappropriate to restrain someone in that way after they had lost their pulse.

"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.

Morries Hall, who was with Floyd in his auto shortly before his death, is in custody and appeared by video camera at the hearing after he was subpoenaed to testify. He asked if Mercil agreed that a crowd jeering police officers will raise alarms within the officers.

Witnesses say Mr Chauvin and his colleagues repeatedly ignored pleas for help and mercy from Mr Floyd and bystanders.

"Potentially, yes", Mercil said.

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