Chauvin trial continues Tuesday afternoon, LAPD sergeant takes witness stand
The judge has put the court in recess until tomorrow morning. The court will reconvene with Stiger taking the witness stand at 9:15 a.m.
Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jody Stiger takes the witness stand next. He is considered an expert on use of force.
He served on the use of force board with the LAPD from 2003 to 2007.
"Basically we review all the information that was gathered during the investigation and we make recommendations to the chief of police," Stiger said.
Stiger addressed some areas of higher rates of crime that he worked in while in Los Angeles. He also has reviewed use of force tactics used around the nation and compares them to his department as well.
He says he approximately has done 2,500 use of force reviews in his career.
Stiger said he charges a fee for his services that starts at a flat rate of $10,000. He also charges a trial fee of about $2,900.
He says his initial opinion on the Minneapolis incident was that Chauvin’s use of force was "excessive."
Schleicher: Can you describe what it is you see here.— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) April 6, 2021
Stiger: I see an officer with his knee on the neck of Mr. Floyd.
Schleicher: Is this a form of force.
Stiger: Yes. #DerekChauvinTrial pic.twitter.com/mNkCvQfCts
Stiger adds that someone using a counterfeit bill typically doesn’t result in a use of force being used. He was asked if he made an assessment on whether or not Floyd was offering resistance in the incident.
"Initially when Mr. Floyd was being placed in the backseat of a vehicle he was actively resisting the officers … however once he was placed in the prone position on the ground, he slowly ceased resistance," he said, adding at that point, "they should have de-escalated the situation … they continued the force they were utilizing."
He said when he was asked about what he remembered from the incident that happened on May 25, 2020.
Stiger said he remembered Floyd saying he was afraid numerous times, stated he had COVID-19 before and he couldn’t breathe. He also said he had anxiety and was claustrophobic, Stiger said.
A body camera video was shown in court, showing Floyd’s struggle with officers. He noted Floyd said "thank you" to the officers when they brought Floyd to his knees. He also noted he didn’t see any other active aggressive behavior other than when Floyd kicked his legs when officers had him in a prone position.
Stiger describes seeing Floyd kick as they tried to put him in the prone position.— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) April 6, 2021
Schleicher, "Aside from that one kick, did you see anything else in your review of any of the materials … that would constitute an active aggressive behavior by Mr Floyd?"
They also showed what the use of a hobble restraint looks like. That restraint was available to use on May 25, 2020, on Floyd, but they did not.
Stiger said the tactic is typically used when someone is "actively aggressive toward police." The person is put in the side recovery position to help them breathe better when using this restraint.
Exhibit 200 shows the use of the Hobble restraint.— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) April 6, 2021
Stiger says it’s typically used when someone is "actively aggressive toward police." Now noting that the person is in the side recovery position to help them breathe better.#DerekChauvinTrial pic.twitter.com/xOULLC6naI
MacKenzie has been excused from the stand, but she will be brought back to the witness stand at a later time. The court is in recess until 2:35 p.m.
The court was having a dispute over the topic of excited delirium. The state said they didn’t want the defense to be able to present the information at the current time, instead wanting it reserved for the defense case in chief. She will be called back next Tuesday.
So Judge Cahill just came back saying they "all need to stay well" and reassures jurors they’ll have another short break.— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) April 6, 2021
I was reading the pool reporter’s notes earlier and they say it appeared one of the jurors may have been asleep earlier. #DerekChauvinTrial
The court has reconvened. The state calls Minneapolis Police officer Nicole MacKenzie to the witness stand. She works as the medical support coordinator for the police department.
She knows Chauvin from training. She tells Schleicher her role is "primarily going to be the first aid education … I do the training for the academy," she noted, adding she also trains on Narcan.
She says she trains cadets, recruits and current officers on first aid and the use of Narcan. MacKenzie adds POST board requires officers to have an Emergency Medical Responder certification, which Chauvin had.
The state walked through CPR training provided by the police department with MacKenzie. She says checking the carotid pulse is the most important, but there are multiple places to check for a pulse. She adds that if no pulse is detected, CPR must be started immediately.
MacKenzie noted that an officer is supposed to stop administering CPR when they have been relieved by somebody with a higher level of training, or feeling some obvious signs of death. She also adds the officer can stop if they feel "absolutely physically exhausted."
The defense starts their cross-examination of this witness. MacKenzie tells him she has been with the department for six years. Prior to that, she worked as an EMT. She noted that the police EMR training is lower than a paramedic’s training level.
Nelson, "You have classes on topics including excited delerium? And you have topics including the administration of Narcan?"— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) April 6, 2021
MacKenzie says yes to both.
She agreed with Nelson that EMTs do not arrive at a scene until they are given a Code 4, making sure the scene is safe.
Nelson has been asking about agonal breathing which MacKenzie says it’s not effective breathing and often seen in someone who is unresponsive. She says it’s basically the brains last ditch effort in a critical situation.#DerekChauvinTrial— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) April 6, 2021
Nelson is addressing Narcan training.
Nelson: "In your experience … have you experienced individuals who take combinations of drugs?"
Nelson: "Have you heard the term speedball … the combination of a stimulant … and a depressant?"
This slide is up, Nelson asks "And so, even fentanyl, even in very small doses can be fatal, would that be accurate?" Schleicher objects, Nelson attempts to rephrase, but they continue to a sidebar. #DerekChauvinTrial pic.twitter.com/zici4nQdME— Ana Lastra (@AnaViLastra) April 6, 2021
Nelson also asked the officer about excited delirium training.
MacKenzie describes it as having a "wide variety of things you might see in the person or rather bizarre behavior," such as hypothermia, agitation, superhuman strength, elevated heart rate and lack of pain.
"I know it sounds unreasonable, but bystanders do occasionally attack EMS crews. So sometimes just getting out of the situation is kind of the best way to defuse it," she said. MacKenzie added it is "extremely difficult" to assess a patient when there is a chaotic crowd at the scene.
She stated that the biggest threat would come if someone was preventing the officer to administer aid.
Schleicher takes back over.— Callan Gray (@CallanGrayNews) April 6, 2021
Schleicher, "In terms of the crowd, the crowd being hostile, how would you definite hostility ?
MacKenzie, "That would be a growing contingent of people… yelling, being even verbally abusive.. interfere with a crime scene"
Tuesday morning, a sergeant and lieutenant with the Minneapolis Police Department testified as the Derek Chauvin trial continues.
Sgt. Ker Yang and Lt. Johnny Mercil took the witness stand Tuesday morning before the court broke for a recess starting at 12:20 p.m. Most of the questioning conducted by defense attorney Eric Nelson and state prosecutors Matthew Frank and Steve Schleicher has related to Chauvin’s use of force and training by the department.
Judge Peter Cahill said the court will reconvene for the afternoon session starting at 1:30 p.m.