A POLICE use of force expert has claimed that George Floyd "wasn't actively resisting arrest" and the crowd was "not a threat" to Derek Chauvin when the ex-cop kneeled on his neck.
LAPD Sgt. Jody Stiger told Chauvin's murder trial on Wednesday that the former Minneapolis police officer used “deadly force” at a time when "no force" should have been used.
He added that the manner in which Chauvin was placing his knee on Floyd could cause “positional asphyxia, which could cause death.”
"Just being in this position and being in handcuffs can cause death," Stiger said of the way in which Floyd was placed on his stomach on the ground.
"Add body weight to that and it can cause death."
Stiger was paid $13,000 by the state to testify at the trial and had previously prepared a 461-page report on Floyd's death.
He is expected to be the only outside expert to testify for the state on police training and use of force.
It comes after Chauvin's defense has placed heavy emphasis on the impact "angered bystanders" had on the arrest on Floyd's death.
In his opening statements, defense attorney Eric Nelson claimed that the crowd filming the arrest had posed a "threat" to the officers.
He alleged that they distracted the cops away from giving Floyd the medical attention he needed.
“They were merely filming, and most of their concern was for Mr. Floyd," Stiger argued on Wednesday.
"I did not perceive them as being a threat," he continued.
"Officers can only use force based on their suspect's action."
On Wednesday, Nelson countered Stiger's testimony by questioning whether he was qualified to testify in an Minneapolis court given his training in California.
It followed Stiger's earlier testimony during Tuesday's proceedings in which he claimed Chaucin had used "excessive force" on Floyd.
“My opinion was that the force was excessive," Stiger said bluntly.
“Initially when Mr Floyd was being put in the backseat of the vehicle, he was actively resisting the officers," he admitted.
“However, once he was placed in the prone position on the ground, he slowly ceased his resistance and at that point the ex-officers, they should have slowed down or stopped their force as well."
A former Marine, Stiger joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1993 and has served as a tactics instructor for in-service training for Los Angeles police officers for six years.
He said during his testimony that he has provided traiing to 3,000 LAPD officers.
The state provided him with MPD training materials, and videos and documents of the arrest and Floyd's death to create his report.
Chauvin's murder trial is in its eighth day.
The ex-cop, 45, faces charges of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter for kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes, 29 seconds, as he lay face down in handcuffs.
The arrest and death was filmed in now infamous footage but the jury was this week presented with further surveillance footage from the Cup Foods store where Floyd was arrested.
The trial is expected to last for a month.
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