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Senior officer calls Chauvin's use of force against Floyd 'totally unnecessary'

George Floyd Officer Trial
Posted at 9:03 AM, Apr 02, 2021

During a short morning session of the Derek Chauvin trial for the death of George Floyd, the jury heard from two officers, a sergeant and lieutenant, who were called to the scene on May 25, 2020.

Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman is part of the homicide team with Minneapolis police and says the team handles all suspicious deaths. He outlined police training on use of force and protocols for calming a suspect.

He called the use of force on Floyd "totally unnecessary" and "uncalled for" in his opinion, based on his training and knowledge of police procedure.

Floyd died outside a Cup Foods store. Widely-shared video from a bystander shows Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's back and neck for several minutes as Floyd calls out and repeatedly tells the officers he cannot breath.

The court also heard from Sergeant Jon Edwards who started work later in the evening on that day, he told the court, and was called out to the scene to help secure it. He had officers put up crime scene tape and helped gather evidence.

Below is a live blog of Friday morning's proceedings. Court will be back in session Monday morning at 10:15 a.m. ET.

Court TV will be the only network with cameras in the courtroom and will provide live, gavel-to-gavel coverage.
Find Court TV's full coverage of MN v. Derek Chauvin HERE.

UPDATE, 11:15 a.m. ET: Prosecutors call Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman, who has been an officer with Minneapolis police since 1981. He has been on the homicide team since 1995, the team is called to any suspicious death.

Zimmerman outlined training that officers receive about restraining suspects and when force is used.

"You need to get someone out of the prone position as quickly as possible," Zimmerman said, because the "prone position restricts their breathing."

When asked about the video showing former officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on George Floyd's back and neck, Zimmerman said the use of force was "totally unnecessary" and "uncalled for" in his opinion.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson questioned Zimmerman about how long it had been since the officer was on patrol. "You've been more in an investigative role?" "Yes."

"You're not out on the streets, making arrests," Nelson asks.

Zimmerman finished on the stand around 12:15 p.m. ET and court went into recess until Monday morning.

WATCH coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial HERE.

UPDATE, 10:30 a.m. ET: Prosecutors call Minneapolis Police Sergeant Jon Edwards to testify. Edwards started work on May 25, 2020 at 8:30 p.m. He told the court he starts his day by doing roll call of the officers.

When he started his shift, Edwards says then-Sergeant Pleoger called him and told him he was at the hospital with George Floyd who "may or may not make it through the night."

Pleoger asked Edwards to respond to the scene to secure the area because the former sergeant was still at the hospital.

Pleoger testified in court Thursday.

Edwards continued to outline what procedures happened the evening of May 25, 2020 to secure the scene and record evidence.

Court TV will be the only network with cameras in the courtroom and will provide live, gavel-to-gavel coverage.
Find Court TV's full coverage of MN v. Derek Chauvin HERE.

Original story below

MINNEAPOLIS - The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd continues Friday, after a week of emotional testimony from prosecution witnesses.

Thursday, the court heard from Floyd's girlfriend, the paramedics who arrived onscene and Chauvin's supervisor at the time of the May 25, 2020 incident.

Officers responded to the Cup Foods store on May 25 after reports Floyd used a counterfeit $20. Officers arrested Floyd, and during a scuffle, Chauvin put Floyd on the ground. Chauvin put his knee on Floyd's back and neck for several minutes. Widely-shared cell phone video from a bystander shows a growing crowd of people pleading with officers to get off Floyd as the Black man struggled to breath and called out.

The two paramedics who arrived on the scene testified they saw multiple officers on top of Floyd when they pulled up and had to ask them to get off. They also detailed the life-saving procedures they attempted before dropping Floyd off at the hospital.

Paramedic Derek Smith recalls struggling to find a pulse when he arrived at Floyd's side.

"I thought he was dead," Smith said, telling his partner, Seth Bravinder, "I think he's dead and I want to move" Floyd away from the crowd.

Floyd's girlfriend shared touching moments from their 3-year relationship, like how they met and Floyd's love for his mama. She also detailed the couple's struggle with opioid addiction and that she suspected Floyd was using again in May 2020.

Former Sergeant David Pleoger also testified Thursday, he was Chauvin's supervisor at the time of the incident. He said he believes the officers should have gotten off Floyd as soon as the handcuffs were on and he stopped struggling.

Pleoger said he talked to Chauvin after Floyd was taken away in the ambulance and that the former officer did not mention putting his knee on Floyd's neck during the conversation.

Chauvin is facing second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter charges in connection with Floyd's death. The defense argues Floyd's death was drug or health-related.

Floyd's death sparked a national wave of protests and discussions of racial inequity.

Testimony in the trial of Derek Chauvin is slated to resume Friday at 10:30 a.m. ET. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo is reportedly to testify.

WATCH coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial HERE.

Court TV will be the only network with cameras in the courtroom and will provide live, gavel-to-gavel coverage.

The entire trial will be on live TV as well as available online, and the Court TV app for Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android and Apple devices.

In addition to in-depth reporting and expert analysis from veteran legal journalists - most of whom are lawyers -Court TV’s extensive coverage will include new virtual recreations, and insights and discussions from attorneys, investigators and forensic experts.