An outside use-of-force expert who reviewed bystander video footage and reports said former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s actions in arresting George Floyd were ‘excessive’.
Sgt Jody Stiger, who has served in the Los Angeles Police Department since 1993, testified on Tuesday that the use of force on Floyd began as reasonable but should have ended when the black man stopped resisting.
Asked to comment directly on Chauvin’s handling of Floyd during the May 25 arrest, Stiger said: ‘My opinion was that the force was excessive’.
Stiger, a former Marine, was paid $10,000 as well as a $2,950 trial fee to review videos, reports, police training policies and other documents and come to a conclusion on whether Chauvin acted appropriately towards Floyd.
‘Initially, when Mr Floyd was being placed in the back seat of the vehicle, he was actively resisting the officers. So, at that point, officers were justified to use force to try to have him comply with their commands’, Stiger said. ‘However, once he was placed in the prone position on the ground, he slowly ceased his resistance. At that point, the officers, ex-officers I should say, they should have slowed down or stopped their force as well’.
Stiger said he has conducted 2,500 use-of-force reviews and has consulted various organizations on the matter. He has conducted use-of-force policy training to about 3,000 officers during his six years as a tactics instructor for Los Angeles cops.
He was the first use-of-force expert witness outside of the Minneapolis Police Department to be called by prosecutors to testify against Chauvin. Stiger’s testimony will continue on Wednesday, the eight day of Chauvin’s murder trial.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
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