Chauvin’s supervisor says restraint of George Floyd violated policies

'The evidence is going to show that there was no cause to use lethal force against a man who was defenseless.'

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Day 4 of Derek Chauvin’s murder trial for the killing of George Floyd saw emotional testimony from the victim’s girlfriend, and Chauvin’s former supervisor said the ex Minneapolis Police officer violated use-of-force policies during Floyd’s arrest last May.

Sergeant David Pleoger was called to the witness stand by the prosecution on Thursday and admitted that the restraint used against Floyd should have ceased the moment he stopped resisting arrest. Ploeger, who recently retired after 27-years in law enforcement, said Chauvin should have stopped using excessive force “When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint,” he testified, per NBC News.

Read More: Chauvin trial witness tears up during testimony: ‘Y’all is murderers’

“That’s after he was handcuffed and on the ground and no longer resisting?,” the prosecution asked, to which Ploeger replied, “Correct.”

“Would you agree that a person may be restrained only to the degree necessary to keep them under control?” prosecutor Steve Schleicher asked.

“Yes, and no more restraint,” Ploeger answered.  

During opening statements Monday, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told the jury, “The evidence is going to show you that there was no cause in the first place to use lethal force against a man who was defenseless, who was handcuffed, who was not resisting.”

As theGRIO previously reported, Floyd, 46, was declared dead after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against his neck for 9 minutes, 29 seconds as Floyd lay face-down on the pavement, handcuffed and crying “I can’t breathe.” Ploeger told the court that Chauvin did not mention putting his knee on Floyd’s neck during their initial conversation after the arrest. 

Several witnesses on the scene that fateful day testified this week about what they failed to do in the moments leading up to Floyd’s death. An earlier report on theGRIO noted that the convenience store cashier who was handed a counterfeit $20 bill by Floyd — setting in motion the Black man’s ill-fated encounter with police — testified Wednesday that he watched Floyd’s arrest outside with “disbelief — and guilt.”

“If I would’ve just not tooken the bill, this could’ve been avoided,” 19-year-old Christopher Martin lamented at Chauvin’s murder trial, joining the burgeoning list of onlookers who expressed a sense of helplessness and lingering guilt over Floyd’s slow death last May.

Read More: George Floyd’s girlfriend tearfully recalls the first time they met

Prosecutors used Martin and other witnesses to help lay out the rapidly escalating sequence of events that ended in tragedy. They also played store security video of Floyd inside the convenience store and another piece of amateur footage of him outside, adding to the mountain of video documenting what happened.

Derek Chauvin George Floyd
Former MPD officer Derek Chauvin (left) and George Floyd (right) – (Twitter/Ben Crump Law)

On Thursday, Floyd’s girlfriend, 45-year-old Courteney Ross, cried on the witness stand as she told the story of how they first met in 2017 at a Salvation Army shelter where Floyd was a security guard. Prosecutors put her on the stand as part of an effort to humanize Floyd in front of the jury and portray him as more than a crime statistic.

Ross said she had gone to the shelter because her sons’ father was staying there. She said she became upset because the father was not coming to the lobby to discuss their son’s birthday. Floyd came over to check on her.

“Floyd has this great Southern voice, raspy. He was like, `Sis, you OK, sis?’” Ross recalled. “I was tired. We’ve been through so much, my sons and I, and (for) this kind person just to come up and say, ‘Can I pray with you?’ … it was so sweet. At the time, I had lost a lot of faith in God.”

Ross also explained that both she and Floyd struggled to overcome opioid addiction.

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