Barry Brodd, a defense witness who took the stand Tuesday spent 35 years training police on the use of force. He testified that Officer Derek Chauvin did not use excessive force on George Floyd. There have been differing opinions on what killed Floyd. Was it Chauvin or the massive amount of drugs he took. The judge in the trial refused to let the jury hear from Floyd’s drug dealer on his usage of illegal drugs.
“I felt that Derek Chauvin was justified and was acting with objective reasonableness following Minneapolis police department policy and current standards of law enforcement in his interactions with Mr. Floyd.”
He discussed the Supreme Court case Graham v. Connor. In that case, the court ruled that reasonableness standard should apply to claims of excessive force. He said there are three factors you must take into consideration. The severity of the crime, imminent threat, and active resistance or evading arrest. Brodd said in this case it was not only reasonable to restrain Floyd but that it was safer for the police and for Floyd as well.
Brodd said that in considering how much force to use and was there was a justification for the detention, the level of resistance exhibited by the suspect, and what the officer did to overcome that resistance. After examining the videos available and examining the situation, he determined that Chauvin would have been justified in using even more force.
Heexplained that when someone is on drugs more force could be justified because being under the influence of drugs, because they could behave erratically, not feel pain, or not understand commands.
“I felt that Officer Chauvin’s interactions with Mr. Floyd were following his training, following current practices in policing, and objectively reasonable.”
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The defense witness said that he does not consider the prone position, where a suspect is held on the ground on their stomach by an officer, use of force because it is a “control technique” that “doesn’t hurt.” Upon further questioning by the prosecution, Brodd said that the prone position – which is the position Chauvin held Floyd in for over nine minutes – could possibly cause pain.
Tuesday was the first day that the defense called their own witnesses after the prosecution rested their case. Prosecutors called 38 total witnesses over 11 days in an attempt to prove that Floyd died because Chauvin kneeled on his neck, according to USA Today. Several of the prosecution’s witnesses said that Chauvin’s use of force was excessive.