Former Minneapolis, Minnesota, cop Derek Chauvin was convicted and sentenced to more than 22 years behind bars last year for the murder of George Floyd in 2020.
This week, an expert testified during the trial of three other former officers facing related charges over Floyd’s death — and what she had to say is not likely to help their cases.
Expert says officers ignored training
As Fox News explained, defendants J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao are facing charges that they violated Floyd’s civil rights during an encounter that resulted in the suspect’s death.
Specifically, federal prosecutors say that the trio had a duty to intervene when they saw Chauvin using unnecessary force to restrain Floyd.
To back up that claim, the prosecution called Inspector Katie Blackwell to the witness stand on Tuesday.
She advised that officers are not only trained to de-escalate such situations, but they also have a duty to stop using force when a suspect has stopped resistance as well as to render medical aid if needed.
Floyd died after Chauvin knelt on him for more than nine minutes as the suspect pleaded for help. Prosecutors cited video evidence that showed Kueng also kneeling on Floyd as Lane held his legs and Thao attempted to keep bystanders at bay.
More damaging evidence against officers
For her part, Blackwell told jurors that when a suspect is on the ground it is important to move the individual onto his or her side. Footage from body-worn cameras showed that Lane asked Chauvin at one point if they should reposition Floyd, but his suggestion was refused.
The day before Blackwell testified, paramedic Derek Smith took the stand to assert that the officers did not accurately communicate Floyd’s condition, specifically withholding the fact that he had stopped breathing and had no discernible pulse.
Under questioning from Assistant U.S. Attorney Manda Sertich, the paramedic stated that officers should have initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
More potentially damaging testimony came earlier in the week from a 911 dispatcher who complained that she was not told that Floyd had stopped breathing.
If she had been given that information, the dispatcher affirmed that she would have sent personnel from the local fire department who would have been able to arrive on the scene more quickly.