April 20, 2021

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Minneapolis police officer testifies Chauvin’s use of force on George Floyd was ‘totally unnecessary’

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The first week of the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin wrapped up Friday with a testimony from Minneapolis’ most senior officer.

Lt. Richard Zimmerman said Chauvin’s use of force in his arrest of George Floyd was “totally unnecessary,” without mentioning him by name. “I saw no reason why the officers felt they were in danger, if that’s what they felt, and that’s what they would have to have felt to have to use that kind of force,” Zimmerman said. He noted the restraint on Floyd should “absolutely” have stopped once he was handcuffed and on the ground, per department policy, the Star Tribune reports.

Once a suspect is handcuffed, the “threat level goes down all the way,” aside from possibly getting kicked, and the person’s safety is then the officer’s responsibility, Zimmerman said. The defense asked him if an officer is allowed to use whatever force necessary in a “fight for your life,” to which Zimmerman agreed. He also noted video evidence showed no kicking from Floyd once he was laying on the pavement.

The persecution asked Zimmerman directly if he thought the situation called for Chauvin to kneel on Floyd for the nine minutes that he did. He replied, “No, I did not.”

Court was adjourned after Zimmerman’s testimony, and is set to reconvene Monday morning. Read more at the Star Tribune. Taylor Watson

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