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MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) -The Minneapolis Police Department’s coordinator on the use of force told jurors on Tuesday the neck restraint applied by former policeman Derek Chauvin in the deadly arrest of George Floyd was unauthorized and that officers are trained to use the least amount of force necessary.
Prosecutors in Chauvin’s murder trial presented three department witnesses to try to show that he disregarded training on appropriate use of force, employing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and dealing with crisis situations when he knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes.
The handcuffed 46-year-old Black man fell limp and stopped breathing during the May 2020 arrest.
Lieutenant Johnny Mercil, who teaches the proper use of force for the department, was shown by one of the prosecutors a photograph of Chauvin using his knee to pin Floyd’s neck to the ground and was asked if the officer was using an authorized neck restraint under the circumstances.
“I would say no,” Lieutenant Mercil testified.
Chauvin, who is white, has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges. Chauvin and three other officers were attempting to arrest Floyd on suspicion of using a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes at a food store. The incident prompted protests in cities across the United States and around the world against racism and police brutality.