Los Angeles Police Department sergeant Jody Stiger has emerged as a prosecution witness in the case of Cauvin’s murder, as prosecutors sought to further show that the former fired officer had defied his training while kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes.
Stiger told the judges that Floyd did not immediately threaten or forcefully resist the arrest when Cauvin used deadly force on the 46-year-old man while handcuffed in a popular position in the May 2020 incident.
“My view was that there was no logical force in that position,” Stiger testified. “Stress … caused by weight can cause asphyxia and can even cause death.”
The incident was filmed, and Floyd’s death sparked protests against racism and police harassment in many cities in the United States and around the world.
Cauvin, a white man, has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter, saying he had followed the training he had received during his 19 years in the police force. Three other police officers at the scene have been charged with aiding and abetting murder and will face charges later this year.
Here are some of the most important moments from the eighth day of testimony:
LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT SERGEANT JODY STIGER, POWERFUL EXPERT
Stiger, who has reviewed 2,500 cases in which police have used force, resumed his testimony after his first appearance on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Steve Schleicher asked Stiger to comment on several photos showing police blocking Floyd. Stiger proved that Chavin’s use of force was excessive.
“He was handcuffed, not trying to resist, not trying to attack the police, kicking, punching like that,” Stiger said of Floyd.
Stiger also testified that Cauvin pressured Floyd’s hand to force him to obey the officer’s orders while he was handcuffed in a desirable position. Stiger testified that Floyd did not appear to have the opportunity to comply with the law.
“At the time it was just painful,” Stiger said.
Stiger also testified that members of the crowd gathered at the scene did not take part in his assessment of the situation as it was not dangerous.
Records show that Cauvin completed police training for 867 hours. Stiger said that “that was” enough time to prepare him for the situation.
Lieutenant Johnny Mercil, who teaches the proper use of force at the Minneapolis Police Department, told the judges on Tuesday that the neck restraint used by Cauvin was illegal. Police were trained to use the limited force needed to defeat the suspect, Mercil said.