MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For the first time since the start of the murder trial for Derek Chauvin, jurors heard witnesses say Tuesday the former police officer did the right thing.
The prosecution rested Tuesday after calling 38 witnesses over 11 days.READ MORE: NYC George Floyd Statue Vandalized, Cleaned Prior To Long-Planned Move To Union Square
Six people then testified for the defense, including use-of-force expert Barry Brodd, who says now-former Minneapolis police officer Chauvin was justified in using the force he did against George Floyd.
Brodd’s testimony countered not only the prosecution’s experts, but the half-dozen Minneapolis Police officers — including Chief Medaria Arradondo — who testified Chauvin’s use of force was deadly and not justified.
“I felt that Derek Chauvin was justified with acting with objective reasonableness, following Minneapolis Police Department policy and current standards of law enforcement,” Brodd said.
Prosecutor Steve Schleicher used body camera clips to try and shake Brodd.
“A compliant person would have their hands in the small of their back and just be resting comfortably, versus like he’s still moving around,” Brodd said.
“Did you say ‘resting comfortably’?” Schleicher said.READ MORE: Minneapolis City Council Committee OK's Measure To Put Replacing MPD On November Ballot
“Or laying comfortably,” Brodd said.
“Resting comfortably, on the pavement,” Schleicher said.
The defense also focused on a May 2019 arrest of Floyd that was also captured on police body cameras. The defense is using that prior arrest to bolster their argument that Floyd also consumed drugs during the fatal encounter, and it was those drugs and his weakened heart that killed him.
Both sides have conceded that the 2019 arrest bears similarities to the fatal encounter a year later. Police can be heard asking Floyd to spit out pills. Now-retired paramedic Michelle Moseng testified that Floyd told her during that arrest that he was addicted, and would consume “seven to nine [Percocet] pills every 20 minutes or so.” Moseng also said Floyd’s blood pressure was dangerously high, and he was sent to the hospital for observation.
The defense has argued that Floyd died from a drug overdose and his underlying heart conditions. But Shawanda Hill, Floyd’s friend who ran into him at Cup Foods on May 25, 2020, testified he seemed fine.
The defense also has argued that Chauvin was threatened and distracted by bystanders. On the stand Tuesday, Minneapolis Park Police Officer Peter Chang said he felt threatened when at the scene.
“I was concerned for the officers’ safety because of the crowd,” Chang said. “I just wanted to make sure the officers were OK.”MORE NEWS: Derek Chauvin Trial Cost Hennepin County $3.7M
The defense will resume their case Wednesday. There is no word yet on whether Chauvin himself will take the stand.