tv Craig Melvin Reports MSNBC April 7, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT
that was just sergeant stiger testifying there. use of force instructor in the los angeles police department, lapd. we saw him dissect individual frames from police body camera footage between that encounter between chauvin and floyd, trying to add more perspective to what happened that day. let's head back into the courtroom now. >> some additional trial preparation yesterday with the prosecution, right? after your testimony. >> no. we had a brief conversation but no trial prep. >> you and i have never met or spoke, right? >> correct. >> you are aware that prosecutors give summaries of those meetings? >> yes. >> you also testified yesterday that in your role with the los angeles police department and
the office of -- >> inspector general. >> thank you. you reviewed thousands of use of force cases, right? >> yes. >> it's fair to say that those cases range in terms of the use of force, right? the types of force used are variable? >> correct. >> some cases may involve whether an officer should have punched a person, right? >> correct. >> some may involve whether they should have used a particular technique or not, a it'ser, for example? >> correct. >> some involve deadly force? >> correct. >> they are not all -- these thousands of cases are not all deadly force or resulting in the death of an individual, right? >> correct. >> in fact, the vast majority of these are basd upon civilian complaints or sergeant review? >> sergeant investigation, yes.
primary sergeant investigation. >> in the los angeles police department, it's similar to the minneapolis police department. if an officer uses force, there are certain types of force hef to report to their superior? >> correct. >> the sergeant will review and investigate that use of force, correct? >> correct. >> that process from -- once that report is completed, you are on the panel of people that review that investigation? >> on certain occasions, yes. >> again, in your capacity of reviewing the use of force, you would agree that graham versus connor is the standard? >> correct. >> it's the universal standard for all police officers in the united states, right? >> to my knowledge, yes. >> that's because it comes from the united states supreme court, right? >> yes. >> kind of the highest law making -- the highest court in the land, right?
>> correct. >> that's the standard that the office of inspector general uses? >> it uses the los angeles police department's use of force policy. >> which also includes the graham versus connor? >> correct. >> in terms of minneapolis, that's the same standard, we use here. >> yes, it is. >> that's embodied in the minneapolis police department's use of force policy 5-303, correct? >> i don't know the exact number. but, yes, i believe so. >> the graham versus connor factor -- let me have a second. he talked yesterday and today
about the graham v. connor factors. you have done thousands of use of force reviews. you are comfortable discussing graham versus connor? >> yes, i am. >> i would ask -- >> objection. can we have a sidebar? >> sure. my seminars are a great tool to help young homeowners who are turning into their parents. now, remember, they're not programs. they're tv shows. you woke up early. no one cares. yes. so, i was using something called homequote explorer from progressive to easily compare home insurance rates. was i hashtagging? progressive can't help you from becoming your parents, but we can help you compare rates on home insurance with homequote explorer. guess what. the waiter doesn't need to know your name. what do we want for dinner? guess what. burger... i want a sugar cookie... wait... i want a bucket of chicken... i want... ♪♪ it's the easiest because it's the cheesiest.
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and this is not an exclusive list of factors that apply, right? >> correct. >> because ultimately, it's what's called the totality of the circumstances, right? >> yes. >> we have to look at the entirety of everything that's going on, right? >> yes. we have to look at the subject's answers as well as the officer's actions. during my analysis, i look at the actions before, during and after, what the officer knew at the time and things of that nature. >> sometimes the use of force is instantaneous, right? >> sometimes. not in this case. >> understood. but sometimes the use of force is instantaneous? >> sometimes. >> i punch you in the face, it's a quicker type of reaction?
>> correct. >> i taser you -- >> in some cases, correct. >> ultimately, one of the things you said yesterday was that you concluded that this was an excessive use of force, right? >> yes. >> that's not the standard, is it? the question is whether it's an objectively reasonable use of force, right? >> correct. >> when we review whether a use of force is authorized, there are layers to that analysis, would you agree with that? >> yes. >> i'm going to start from the out and then work my way in. there's the general training that an officer has and his experience or her experience, right? >> yes. >> there is kind of a mid-level of surrounding circumstances, right? what do we know about the geography, what do we know about the neighborhood, what do we know about the people involved,
right? >> yes. >> then there's the direct kind of layer which is, what's the type of force being used, how long is it being used, what are the subject and the officer's actions and reactions, right? >> yes. >> so under the reasonable officer standard, we have to take into consideration the officer's training, right? >> yes. >> we have to take into account his or her personal experience, right? >> yes. >> we have to take into account tactical advantages or disadvantages, right? >> correct. >> we have to take into account scene security? >> yes. >> we have to take into account the safety and security of our partners, right? >> yes. >> we have to take into account the public's safety, right? >> yes. >> we have to take into account
the location generally speaking? is this a high time, moderate crime or low crime area? >> yes. >> we have to take into account the specific location, meaning, am i in the middle of a busy intersection where buses and cars are driving by or in someone's backyard, right? >> yes. >> we have to take into account deescalation possibilities, right? >> yes. >> you have seen and you discussed a little bit yesterday the minneapolis police department -- i'm sorry. we can take this down. the minneapolis police department's critical decision making model, right? >> i don't believe we discussed that yesterday. >> you reviewed that? >> yes. >> you understand what an officer is supposed to do is go through this cycle process, taking in information, right? >> yes. >> assessing the risk, the
threat, deciding is it lawful to do this, how do i react, ultimately with the goal of keeping everybody safe, right? >> yes. that's a standard thing to continually reassess as you are using force. >> reassessment is a specific tool? >> yes. >> that's common to police officers, right? >> yes, sir. >> you have to take into account that sometimes incidents or interactions with a citizen are benign at best, right? they are not risky in any sense? >> correct. >> that not risky situation can very quickly become a very risky situation, agreed? >> agreed. >> there are certain circumstances that officers, they walk into knowing that this
could be a higher risk situation, right? >> yes. depending on the nature of the call, things of that nature. >> for example, domestic assault calls have a high risk to an officer? >> yes. like a robbery or shooting. >> lots of situations that officers are expected to go into, they go into with a heightened sense of awareness, agreed? >> correct. >> sometimes an officer will walk into a situation, have no sense of risk or no sense of concern, but they have to prepare for the unexpected. agreed? >> i wouldn't agree with that. i believe based on my training and experience, most officers, once they put the uniform on and respond to a call, we know there's a risk factor. we don't know what level, depending on the severity of the call. >> every single time an officer responds to a call, there's an
inherent risk? >> correct. >> that's the nature of policing. >> yes, it is. >> an officer -- a reasonable officer has to be prepared for that risk level to change? >> correct. that's why we use tactics. >> again, one of the things that officers have to take into consideration is their department's policies, right? >> yes. >> you would agree, would you not, that every single use of force policy that minneapolis has, has some form of what's called a qualifier, meaning, if it's reasonable or if it's safe or if it's tactically proper, right? >> yes. >> all of the analysis has to depend upon the safety, the practicality and in some -- in certain circumstances tactics? >> in certain circumstances. in most cases, the objective
reasonableness of the actual force being used. >> when we look at the use of force, we don't look at the use of force in a vacuum, do we? >> no, we do not. we should not. i have seen some agencies, that's all they focus on is the actual use of force. when i do my analysis, i look at the totality of the circumstances. i look at the officer's tactics as well as the subject's actions during the entire incident. >> because it's a totality of the circumstances analysis, we need to -- it's objectively reasonable based on the facts of this case? >> correct. >> we need to look closely at all of the facts in assessing whether or not the use of force was reasonable, agreed? >> agreed. >> let's talk about the facts of this case. do you understand officer chauvin was the initial officer dispatched to this call? >> yes.
>> that dispatch ultimately -- what's called the sector car, took over the call and officer chauvin was no longer responding? >> correct. he was no longer the primary unit. >> it's reasonable for a police officer to rely upon information he or she receives from dispatch, correct? >> correct. >> you understand that in this particular case, dispatch advised the officers that the suspect was still on scene, correct? >> correct. >> it was a priority once response call? >> correct. >> that means, get there quick, right? code three, get there with lights and sirens? >> i don't know the code for minneapolis. i believe you. >> the suspect was 6 to 6 1/2 feet tall and possibly under the influence? >> right. >> it's reasonable to rely upon
that information in response to a call? >> yes. so they can confirm it. >> it sets the stage, right? we are talking about the inherent risks, right? >> yes. >> it's different how a police officer -- a reasonable police officer would respond to an intoxicated, large person versus a smaller person who is just a little crabby? >> in some cases, yes. i have seen small people put up bigger fights than bigger people. >> it's reasonable for a police officer to be in a heightened sense of awareness based upon the information they receive from dispatch? >> agreed. >> ultimately, you understand that under the facts of this case, officer chauvin was dispatched a second time, correct? >> correct. >> that's because the dispatcher heard that officers were taking someone out of the car, right?
>> yes. >> let's just kind of stop there for a second. when you consider the fact that this was a forgery or counterfeiting call, and you don't expect to use force in that type of a situation, wouldn't normally expect. >> correct. >> now you hear dispatch send you on an emergency basis to the scene because officers are using force, right? they took somebody out of the car. >> taking someone out of the car is not necessarily a use of force. >> have you listened to the dispatch of this -- the audio of the dispatch of this case? >> i believe so. >> the testimony of the 911 operator was that she heard screaming and scuffling or some sort of a noise that prompted her to dispatch a second car, right? >> i didn't hear her testimony. >> officers, they do hear --
they get the radio traffic, right? >> yes. >> they do hear all of the communication amongst all of the officers, right? >> correct. >> it's reasonable for an officer to rely on that information, right? >> yes. >> if you are an officer and you hear a scuffle on the radio, you hear, we are taking one out, and you get dispatched code three or in an emergent situation, it's reasonable for an officer to come in with a heightened sense of alertness, awareness? >> absolutely. >> you would expect that, right? >> yes. >> you responded to these calls i'm sure thousands of times, right? >> yes. >> now you have an officer, a reasonable officer would have a heightened sense of concern about this call? >> correct.
>> when officer chauvin arrived at 8:17:23, he knew that some degree of force was being used because of what he heard on the dispatch, presumably, correct? >> correct. >> he knew that other officers were there, right? >> yes. >> he knew that he was being dispatched to back up a situation, right? >> yes. >> he knew that the individual suspect was possibly impaired, right? >> yes. >> based on the dispatch. and he knew he was 6 to 6 1/2 feet tall? >> yes. >> when officer chauvin arrived on scene, he had a certain amount of information that a reasonable police officer can rely on in forming his or her next steps, right? >> yes. >> when he arrived, he observed
mr. floyd and two officers, correct? >> correct. >> at the back seat of a squad car, correct? >> correct. >> what you described as mr. floyd actively resisting their attempts to put him into the back seat of the squad car? >> yes. >> at that point, according to the model, the use of force continuum, officer chauvin theoretically, based on what he saw, active resistance, he could have tased him? that was within the active resistance struggling use of force continuum? >> yes. he didn't do that, right? >> no, he did not. >> because sometimes an officer has to back down in their use of force, right? >> in certain situations, yes. >> a reasonable officer who comes on scene based with all of the information that he has at that particular time, right, comes into the scene, sees two
other police officers struggling with an actively resisting person, right, it's reasonable for that officer to assist his fellow officers in their efforts, right? >> correct. >> you observed the squad -- excuse me, body camera footage of the struggle, right? >> yes, i did. >> you would agree that from the time officer chauvin gets on scene to the time that mr. floyd is prone on the ground, mr. floyd was actively resisting efforts to go into the back seat of the squad car? >> yes, sir. >> the officers were reasonable in their use of force in their attempt to get him into the back of the squad car, agreed? >> agreed. >> in this context, mr. floyd
was saying certain things as he was being attempted to put into the back of the squad car, right? >> yes. >> do you recall him saying, i'm not a bad guy? >> yes. >> do you remember him saying, i have covid or i just -- >> yes. >> do you remember him saying at that point, i can't breathe? >> yes. >> he was saying to the police officers at that point, i can't breathe? >> yes. >> as he was actively resisting their efforts to put him into the squad car? >> yes. >> again, in the course of your career and in the course of your training, experience and all of the contexts that you have done, have you ever had somebody say to you -- to attempt to bargain with you to avoid being arrested? >> yes. >> sort of like, hey, man, i will do what you want as long as i don't have to go to jail, right?
>> yes. >> or somebody may be fighting and they may agree to stop fighting with you through a bargaining process, right? if i get to sit on the curb, i will stop fighting? >> yes. in certain instances, yes. >> have you ever had a person feign a physical ailment as you attempted to arrest them? >> yes. >> sometimes people will say, i'm having a heart attack, right? i think i'm having a heart attack. don't take me to jail. take me to the hospital. >> yes. >> it's fair to say that the vast majority -- i shouldn't say the vast majority. it's fair to say that one of the things that an officer has to do in the assessment of the reasonableness of his use of force is take into consideration what the suspect is saying and how he is acting? >> yes. 100%. >> if somebody is saying, i can't breathe, and they are passing out and not resisting,
that's one form of an analysis, right? >> yes. >> because the actions of the suspect are consistent with the verbal utterances he is making, right? >> yes. >> other times, and in this particular case, when mr. floyd was initially saying that he couldn't breathe, he was actively resisting arrest? >> initially when he was in the back seat of the vehicle, yes. >> in fact, he was using his legs to push back and to use his body weight against the officers, right? >> yes. >> at one point, three minneapolis police officers were attempting to get him into the back seat of the squad car from the passenger side of the car, correct? >> correct. >> they were not able to do so? >> no. >> you described it as when the futility of their efforts became clear, i think was the term you used. >> i can't recall using that word. maybe i did.
>> would you disagree -- would it refresh your recollection to review your report? >> yes. absolutely. >> may i approach the witness, your honor? >> you may. >> yes. >> does that refresh your recollection, sir? >> yes, it does. >> what you wrote was, when the futility of the three officers continuing their efforts forcibly to seat floyd in the
squad's back seat became clear, right? >> yes. >> they put him on the ground in the prone position, right? >> yes. >> again, just in this context of assessing what someone is saying, a subject, an arrestee is saying in comparison to their actions, you are also making assessments of their physical characteristics, right? an officer should be observing what physical characteristics a person is displaying, agreed? >> yes. >> you are analyzing that against what a person says, right? >> correct. >> or how they are acting. if you ask, are you consuming -- what did you take, what drugs are you on, and they deny that they are on drugs, but there's physical evidence to suggest to
the contrary, it's a consideration an officer has to make, right? >> yes. >> in this case, officers asked mr. floyd repeatedly what kind of drugs he was using, right? >> yes. >> you've had an opportunity to review the body cameras. you have seen a white substance forming around mr. floyd's mouth? >> yes. >> consistent in your experience with someone who is possibly using controlled substances? >> correct. >> is it common in your experience for people who have been using drugs or alcohol to deny that they have used drugs or alcohol? >> yes. in some instances, yes. >> it's kind of the proverbial drunk driver? i haven't had anything, officer? i have had two beers? people have a tendency to minimize what they have consumed, right? >> yes.
>> you have testified, as i understand your testimony, that once -- that the officers putting mr. floyd into the prone position was initially a reasonable use of force, right? >> yes. >> you are familiar with the swarm technique? >> yes. >> multiple officers are on top of a resisting suspect trying to control the extremities, right? >> yes. typically that's done prior to handcuffing. >> once you are putting someone -- once someone is handcuffed, right, and they are on the ground, a person is who is in handcuffs can continue to be a threat, agreed? >> yes. >> they can kick you? >> yes. >> they can bite you? >> correct. >> they can flash and get free and start running, right? >> in certain instances, yes.
>> in certain instances, they can get your weapon? >> yes. >> they could get your gun from you, even though they are handcuffed? >> yes. >> the notion that a handcuffed suspect no longer presents a threat to an officer is not correct. >> it depends on circumstances. >> a handcuffed suspect can continue to present a risk? >> based on that person's actions, yes. >> so once you are in -- have a suspect in the prone position and they continue to kick, it may require more force than if they were are compliant, right? >> yes. that's what we have devices for. >> initially during this instant, you would agree mr. floyd continued to make certain
protests about his inability to breathe, right? >> yes. >> he was saying lots of other things like that he was in pain and that he was hurting, correct? >> correct. >> an officer -- a reasonable officer, they need to communicate with each other, right? >> yes. >> a reasonable officer is going to rely on information that his fellow officer tells him, right? >> yes. >> a reasonable officer again is going to take into consideration what the suspect is saying, right? >> yes. >> and compare that against the actions, right? >> yes.
>> and at a point during the exchange initially, officers are going to kind of talk and figure out what's going to happen next, right? >> they should, yes. >> what has just happened, right? why are we involved here? what's going to happen next? you can sometimes take time to formulate options and decisions, right? >> yes. >> in the scene of an arrest, even just in the immediate kind of wingspan, that can be very chaotic, right? >> yes. >> people can be talking to each other? people can be talking over each other? right? >> yes. >> the suspect may be saying
things, right? >> yes. >> bystanders may be saying things? >> yes. >> in the chaos, it's easy to miss things, right? >> in certain instances, yes, depending on the severity of what's going on. >> i would like to publish part of the body-worn camera, officer king's body-worn camera, starting at 20:21:01. >> a portion of what's received? >> yes. >> any objection? >> no objection. >> i would like you to see if you can tell me what mr. floyd says in this instance. [ inaudible ] >> do you hear what he said? >> i couldn't make it out. >> does it sound like he says, i ate too many drugs?
listen again. [ inaudible ] >> i can't make that out, no. >> in the chaos of a situation, things can be missed, right? >> yes. >> you would agree that mr. -- at one point during the exchange, mr. floyd was advised that he was under arrest, right? >> yes. >> in fact, that happened a couple of times, right? >> yes. >> at the point they have mr. floyd on the ground, you would agree and you are aware that officers called for ems, right? >> yes. >> it's reasonable for an officer to call ems, right? >> yes. >> if there's an injury, right? or some need. >> or a complaint of injury or
some discomfort or medical emergency, yes. >> you understand that in this particular instance, very shortly after mr. floyd was on the ground, officers called for ems? >> yes. >> they called -- >> initially for his injury to his head. >> to his face or mouth injury, right? >> yes. >> they called it -- they called ems in a non-emergent situation, right? >> correct. >> that happened at 8:19:49, code two, ems for a mouth injury, right? >> yes. >> this occurred at the point when officers were discussing whether or not to use the hobble restraint on mr. floyd, right? >> yes. >> ultimately, officers did not use the hobble restraint, right? >> correct. >> a hobble restraint would generally require officers to consider calling ems, right?
according to minneapolis police department policy. >> yes, according to the minneapolis police department. >> maybe different in other jurisdictions. >> correct. >> as officers are discussing and ultimately they decide not to use the hobble device? >> yes. they did not use the hobble device. >> we talked a little bit earlier about the deescalation component of things, right? >> yes. >> a decision to use -- or to not use a higher form of force that you may have been authorized to use can actually be a deescalation technique? agreed? >> in certain instances, yes. >> officers making a decision not to increase the level of force can be viewed as a deescalation technique? >> yes. >> again, we have talked a lot
about the need for reassessment and kind of things as they come -- reassessment, and officers need to continue to take in information, process it, figure things out, right? >> yes. >> they have to, as a part of that process, continue to attempt to deescalate, right? >> yes. >> would you agree that an officer saying things like, relax, take a deep breath, that's a way of trying to calm somebody, right? >> yes, if it's not going with other actions. you can say, relax, calm down, but if you are punching somebody, that's not relaxing. >> if you have someone
restrained and they are complaining, i condition -- i can't breathe, they are speaking, moving, talking, you may say, relax, calm down, take a deep breath, right? >> yes. >> as a way of reassuring that person, we have got you, right? >> yes. you are listening and you can understand what they are trying to communicate to you. >> officers reassessed the need for quicker ems response, right? >> yes. after, i believe, their initial call for the injury, then they asked for a quicker response. >> it's stepping it up, i guess, is the quote, right? >> yes. >> they increased the priority from a code two to a code three which in minneapolis means, get
here with your lights and si sirens? >> yes. >> did you consider what the average 911 or ems response time is? >> yes. >> do you have that information? >> not for minneapolis, no. i know on average, typically, usually it's between five to seven minutes. >> that's not specific to minneapolis, right? >> correct. >> it obviously depends upon certain circumstances, correct? >> correct. >> if there's a firehouse three blocks away, it may be 90 seconds or a minute even, right? >> correct. >> sometimes if all of the ambulances are busy and all of the fire trucks are busy, it could be longer, right? >> yes. or go to the wrong location. >> or they go to the wrong location. that happens sometimes. >> it has happened to me. >> part of the analysis that a reasonable police officer is
making is, i got ems coming, right? how long should i expect them to be here? they are considering it, they are taking that into their analysis? >> yes, they should. >> at the point that they stepped up the analysis -- or stepped up ems to code three, would you agree that that's about the time that people began to congregate? >> i would have to look at the video again. >> if ems was stepped up at 20:21:35, it's about 90 seconds after the initial call, and miss frazier is seen coming into the area at 20:21:17, it's about the same period of time, right? the bystander with the video.
the bystander who started recording. >> okay. >> she started recording at about this same time, right? >> yes. >> she was concerned about what she saw, agreed? >> yes. >> and again, based on your review of all of the body cameras, miss frazier, she wasn't saying anything initially, right? >> i don't believe she was, no. >> she was simply there recording, right? >> yes. >> she was not in any way interfering with what the police were doing, right? >> right. >> more people started coming together, right? >> yes. >> there was another gentleman that was there before actually as they were attempting to put him into the car, right? >> the older gentleman, yes. >> i believe -- correct me if i'm wrong. do you participate in a training or present a training or have
anything to do with a training called awful but lawful or lawful but awful, something like that? >> yes. >> you would agree the general concept is, sometimes the use of force, it looks really bad, right? >> yes. >> sometimes it may be -- it may be caught on video, right? >> yes. >> it looks bad, right? >> yes. >> but it's still lawful? >> yes. based on the department's policies or based on that state's law. that was the premise, i did a presentation at a conference for that. >> the police use of force has a tendency at times to attract observers, right? >> yes. >> in the course of your career, i'm assuming at the very beginning of your career, not every single person was walking around with a video camera 24
hours a day, seven days a week, with it in their hand, right? >> no. in los angeles, it was right after rodney king. we did have people walking around with video cameras. there was one gentleman that actually was known for doing it. >> it has become, in the more recent history, as the smartphone is prevalent, a more common experience? it's not just one guy driving around looking for cops arresting people? >> correct. >> any single person could be -- any single person could be a potential videographer of police interaction? >> yes. it has become common practice. >> in fact, officers themselves now wear cameras, right? >> yes. most. >> in the city of minneapolis, every uniformed police officer wears a body-worn camera or they are supposed to, right? >> yes. >> those cameras are supposed to be running when they have interactions with citizens, peaceful or not peaceful, right? >> yes. >> there's a limitation to
cameras though, right? >> yes, there is. >> the camera only sees what the camera sees, right? >> in certain instances, yes. >> meaning, anything outside of its field of view is not observable to the camera. >> correct. >> certainly, the officer -- certainly, cameras can't -- they don't have a feeling or a sensation, right? >> no. >> you can't determine what someone -- the tension in their body, right, based on a camera? >> specifically, are you referring to -- >> if someone is struggling, right, and you have them handcuffed, they can be tense but not really look tense, right? >> i would disagree with that. >> the camera would be able to pick up whether someone is having a particular sensory experience? >> yes. it can.
>> sidebar. >> that is sergeant stiger there continuing his testimony as we watch another sidebar here. sergeant stiger is a use of force -- okay. sounds like we are going to take a 20-minute recess. we have been watching and listening to sergeant stiger, use of force instructor, in the los angeles police department. let me bring in the panel here for a few moments. nikima alima, the former president of the minneapolis naacp. seana lloyd, managing attorney in orlando, florida. also carmen best, former chief
of the seattle police. ladies, a big thanks to all of you for your time this morning. the theme of the week so far has been use of force, when police should use it, when police should not use it, how much force should they use. i want to play one exchange in particular and get your thoughts on the other side. take a listen. >> sir, do you have an opinion to a degree of reasonable professional certainty as to how much force was reasonable for the defendant to use on mr. floyd after mr. floyd was handcuffed, in the prone portion and not resisting? >> yes. >> what is that opinion? >> no force should been used once he was in that position. >> what was the goal of that line of questioning? do we think the prosecution -- do we think they hit it? >> i think that line of
questioning was to articulate the fact that derek chauvin did not need to use force against george floyd once he was no longer actively -- [ inaudible ] >> the defense seems to be trying to make the point that it's not reasonable to judge the officer's decision making because of how george floyd was acting in the moments, playing part of what he said during the exchange. listen to part of the cross examination. >> the actions of the suspect are consistent with the verbal utterances he is making, right? >> yes. >> other times and in this
particular case, when mr. floyd was initially saying that he couldn't breathe, he was actively resisting arrest. >> initially when he was in the back seat of the vehicle, yes. >> in fact, he was using his legs to push back and to use his body weight against the officers, right? >> yes. >> at one point, three minneapolis police officers were attempting to get him into the back seat of the squad car from the passenger side of the car, correct? >> correct. >> they were not able to do so? >> no. >> how does that defense stand up? >> the defense is trying to carry over the resistance to the arrest in the car all the way through the end of the event. he is laying the groundwork to say that because he was actively resisting in the back of the car that at any moment he could have been resisting again and kind of been stronger than the three officers. i think that's going to
contradict the video. it's very markedly different. his demeanor in the back of the car versus when he was on the ground. >> it does continue to -- it seems as if they are trying to portray george floyd as almost superhuman. >> you do lawyer that when they talk about the drugs. they brought in the strength, that he was able to resist three officers. they are leaning on that trend and that turn of phrase to characterize him as someone who can suddenly just be able to do whatever it was he wanted to do against the will of the four officers. that's why they had to maintain that level of force. i think it's a bit of an overreach on the side of the defense. >> chief, the defense -- the cross examination of sergeant stiger proved differences in
policies between different police departments. here is part of that exchange. >> the policies of every police department are going to be different to some degree? >> to some degree, yes. >> some police departments may authorize a particular a partic of force while others don't, correct? >> to a certain extent. >> one department may say this is not a reasonable use of force and another department may say this is a reasonable use of force. >> based on my training and experience. every agency i have seen based on use of force policy, it's pretty standard. >> chief, what did you make of that cross-examination there. try, if you can, to explain the point the defense was trying to make. >> well, i think he was trying to say that different policies and in fact the actions of
former officer chauvin may have somehow been in alignment with some of the policies and that they differ in differ areas. the fact of the matter is though, as the sergeant brought up, there is graham versus conner which is generally the reasonable standard. it's frustrating to hear this because the fact of the matter is that it is not reasonable for any officer to remain -- to exhibit that level of force to a compliant person. when i was a kid there was a saying. that was then and this is now. at one point, yes, he was resisting and they needed a high level of force. when that resistance was diminished, the force needed to be commensurate with what they had before them. it's frustrating to hear. graham versus conner is a reasonable standard.
i think most people would find it not reasonable regardless of the policy to use an excessive level of force to a prone person who is handcuffed on the ground. >> nbc's gabe gutierrez is in minneapolis as well and following every moment of this trial. gabe, you noticed something interest about the sergeant's testimony. how the police officers were interacting with the people on the scene? >> high, craig. in addition to the points you have already mentioned, one of the points that stuck out to me was the section where sergeant steiger was asked about that supposedly angry crowd of bystanders that the defense has been trying to insinuate was responsible for distracting the officers. sergeant steiger said officer
chauvin had more than 160 hours of training and that should have prepared him to deal with a crowd of bystanders essentially blowing the defense's argument right out of the water. it has come it up repeatedly in the trial. it has perplexed people looking at this trial that the defense has made such an argument that this crowd of bystanders was responsible for distracting derek chauvin. also talking about this pain compliance technique that officer chauvin apparently used on george floyd's hands. we hadn't heard much about it. we know about the knee to the neck, but it appears, according to his testimony, that officer chauvin was also using pain compliance techniques on his hands, that the handcuffs were not double locked so that they would have increased pressure on george employed's hands. those two things stuck out at me
as well. we are getting a note from one of the pool reporters inside the courtroom. it appears the jurors had been taking notes and watching atentatively during this morning's testimony. that's different from yesterday when some of the testimony apparently dragged on, at least for some of the jurors where we got a note that at least one of the jurors appeared to be falling asleep and others were yawning. thus far it looks like they are focused and taking notes. craig? >> gabe, thank you. i did want to get one more question in here. we are seeing a parade of lawyers for the prosecution. why is it just eric nelson for the defense. am i missing something or is that commonplace in trials like this? >> i think he is taking the strategy of i was a loan wolf. he works for an organization
that has multiple attorneys and that he can utilize. i think he's looking to make a connection with the jury and have that confer on to this client. he is looking for that one-on-one me against the system. it's a strategy call definitely. >> gabe gutierrez, and all of you, big thanks. earlier this morning i was lucky enough to get my first dose of the vaccine. i got it on the today show with my colleagues. >> five, four, three, two, one -- hit it! >> there you go. >> nothing! >> after more than a year in this pandemic, i'm pleased to report that the only side effect i'm feeling thus far is joy.
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good day. this is andrea mitchell reports with our continuing coverage of the derek chauvin trial. today the police sergeant returned to the stand testifying that no force should have been used against george floyd because he didn't pose any threat to the officers once he was handcuffed and in the prone position. >> he was handcuffed, prone, not attempting to evade, not