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George Floyd Did Not Pose Immediate Threat to Officers, Expert Testifies

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now
Officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd's neck — and was bearing down with most of his weight — the entire 9 1/2 minutes the Black man lay facedown with his hands cuffed behind his back, a use-of-force expert testified Wednesday at Chauvin's murder trial.

Jody Stiger, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant serving as a prosecution witness, said that based on his review of video evidence, Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck or neck area from the time officers put Floyd on the ground until paramedics arrived.

On cross examination, defense attorney Eric Nelson repeatedly brought up the idea that Chauvin and other officers acted reasonably.

He noted that Floyd was initially resisting, that they called for paramedics and 90 seconds later stepped up the priority of that medical call, he said they were initially going to use a hobble device to restrain Floyd, then reassessed and stepped back from that, and he suggested that when Chauvin told Floyd to "relax" he was trying to calm him down and reassure him.

He also said that given typical EMS response times, it was reasonable for Chauvin to believe that paramedics would be there soon.

Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death May 25. Floyd, 46, was arrested outside a neighborhood market after being accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill.

A panicky-sounding Floyd struggled and claimed to be claustrophobic as police tried to put him in a squad car, and they put him down on the pavement.

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