Minneapolis Lieutenant At Chauvin Trial Calls Use Of Force 'Uncalled For'

The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged with killing George Floyd in Minneapolis, continued on Friday (April 2) with the testimony of two Minneapolis police officers.

During the fifth day of testimony, Minneapolis Police Lt. Richard Zimmerman, the most senior officer in the Minneapolis police department, testified that kneeling on the neck of a suspect "could kill them" and there is "absolutely" an obligation to provide medical intervention as soon as necessary, USA Today reported.

When specifically speaking about the force Chauvin used on Floyd, Zimmerman called it "totally unnecessary" and said that actions like those used on Floyd are not part of police department training.

"First of all, pulling him down to the ground facedown and putting your knee on a neck for that amount of time is just uncalled for," he explained. "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 had to feel to use that kind of force."

“Once a person is cuffed, the threat level goes down all the way. They are cuffed, how can they really hurt you,” he stated. “You getting injured is way down. You could have some guy try to kick you or something, but you can move out of the way. That person is handcuffed, you know, so the threat level is just not there.”

Zimmerman also addressed Chauvin's lawyer's argument that the crowd was a "threat," which diverted officers' attention away from helping Floyd.

"As long as they’re not attacking you, the crowd shouldn’t have an effect," Zimmerman stated.

Zimmerman was one of the police officers who arrived at the scene following Floyd's death. As shown on body camera footage, he walked about to officers J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane around 10 p.m. local time. As noted by CNN, "Other officers were needed at the scene, so [Zimmeman] testified he called in an on-call homicide team."

Jon Curtis Edwards, a sergeant with the Minneapolis Police, also took the stand on Friday. Edwards answered questions about the crime scene.

"There weren't many other people around when I arrived there," he said, noting that the only officers he saw when he got there were J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane. While Edwards said he had his body camera activated when he arrived, he testified that neither Kueng nor Lane had their body camera on when he met them.

Friday's Proceedings wrapped in the afternoon. The trial will resume on Monday (April 5) at 9:15 a.m. local time.

What Resources Are Available

Watching the trial, taking in traumatic moments may be difficult as video is played and replayed and verbally described.

A few resources that may aid in processing the trial are below:

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-8255

The National Alliance on Mental Illness1-800-950-6264

The Association of Black Psychologists1-301-449-3082

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America1-240-485-1001

The resources listed have resources including peer groups and other counseling services that may be helpful. They also offer ways to cope with stress, anxiety, depression and other conditions that are important to monitor.

The Black Information Network's trial-related content includes a nightly news special, titled "Searching for Justice for George Floyd," that airs at 7:00 pm ET Monday through Friday on all BIN 24/7 affiliates. Emmy Award-winning journalist Vanessa Tyler will anchor the daily 30-minute commercial-free recap of that day's testimony.

Additionally, BIN's Morgyn Wood will anchor live coverage of the trial on our Minneapolis affiliate BIN 93.3 FM. Tune in to Black Information Network 24/7's coverage on 31 Black Information Network affiliate stations and on the iHeartRadio app. Frequent updates and breaking news will also air on all 92 iHeartMedia Hip Hop, R&B, and Gospel music stations.

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