Where's the Thread on "George Floyd" ????

spaminator

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Two jurors dismissed in trial on Floyd's death after $27M settlement, two new ones seated
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Jonathan Allen
Publishing date:Mar 17, 2021 • 15 hours ago • 3 minute read • comment bubbleJoin the conversation
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Two jurors seated in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer facing murder charges over his arrest of George Floyd, were dismissed on Wednesday after they said news of a $27 million settlement with Floyd’s family meant they could no longer be impartial.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill had set aside three weeks for jury selection, beginning last week, and was back down to seven seated jurors after the two dismissals. Two new jurors were seated later on Wednesday: a Black man and a white woman, both in their 40s, according to the court.


“We’re back to where we were this morning but it’s better than being behind,” Cahill said shortly before recessing for the day.

Mayor Jacob Frey joined some of Floyd’s relatives at a news conference on Friday to announce the city would pay them $27 million to settle their federal wrongful-death lawsuit against the city, one of the largest settlements of its kind.


One of the jurors selected last week told the judge on Wednesday morning that the settlement’s size shocked him and “kind of swayed me a little bit.”

“It kind of sent a message that the city of Minneapolis felt that something was wrong, and they wanted to make it right, to the tune of that dollar amount,” the juror, a white man in his 30s, told the court.

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Cahill dismissed him and a Hispanic man in his 20s who expressed similar views. Some of the other seated jurors, who have been promised anonymity by the judge for the trial’s duration, said they had seen headlines about the settlement but were able to assure the court it would not influence them.

Chauvin’s lead lawyer, Eric Nelson, has complained to the court that publicity around the settlement makes it harder to seat a jury that can be impartial.

All potential jurors so far have told the court they know who Chauvin is and almost all have seen video of the white police officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck as Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, begged for his life. The case sparked global protests against police brutality and racism.

Chauvin, 44, has pleaded not guilty to charges brought by the Minnesota attorney general’s office of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter, and has said he correctly followed his police training. He faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted on the most serious charge.


REVISITING CHANGE-OF-VENUE REQUEST

“You have elected officials — the governor, the mayor — making incredibly prejudicial statements about my client, this case,” Nelson told the court on Tuesday. “You have the city settling a civil lawsuit for a record amount of money. And the pretrial publicity is just so concerning.”

He has asked the judge to revisit the defense’s earlier request to delay and move the trial to another county, which Cahill has said he will consider and hoped to issue his ruling on Friday.

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Cahill agreed with Nelson’s request to recall the seven jurors already seated to see if the settlement news might bias them, and they appeared one by one by videoconference on Wednesday morning.

Cahill said earlier news articles, including some reporting that Chauvin had agreed to plead guilty to federal charges last year, were more “problematic” than the settlement news.

Prosecutors oppose Nelson’s efforts to move the trial or dismiss jurors who heard about the settlement.

“I think that this $27 million settlement has been frankly overblown,” Steve Schleicher, a lawyer for the prosecution, told the court, saying many jurors interviewed since had shown no knowledge of the settlement.

The court plans to have opening arguments begin on March 29.
 

spaminator

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Jury seated in murder trial of ex-policeman for George Floyd's death
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Jonathan Allen
Publishing date:Mar 23, 2021 • 15 hours ago • 4 minute read • comment bubbleJoin the conversation
An activist holds a sign outside the Hennepin County Government Center as jury selection continues in the trial of former police Derek Chauvin, who is facing murder charges in the death of George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 22, 2021.
An activist holds a sign outside the Hennepin County Government Center as jury selection continues in the trial of former police Derek Chauvin, who is facing murder charges in the death of George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 22, 2021. PHOTO BY NICHOLAS PFOSI /REUTERS
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The jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin was seated on Tuesday, poised to weigh if something its members all said they had seen — the former Minneapolis policeman pressing his knee on the neck of a dying George Floyd in a bystander’s cellphone video — amounts to murder.

More than 70 potential jurors were screened over two weeks, whittled down through wide-roaming questions on their jobs, their preferred local sports teams, their pets and their views on whether there is systemic racism in the U.S. criminal justice system.


The process culminated in a jury made up of four white women, two white men, three Black men, one Black woman and two multiracial women, according to court records, who will gather next Monday to hear opening arguments. Three alternates were seated: two white women and a white man.

Finding Minneapolis residents who had not heard of Chauvin, who is white, or the worldwide protests against racism that sprang from the death of Floyd, a Black man, was impossible. Even finding someone who had not already formed a negative impression of Chauvin was difficult, the court soon learned after sending out unusually detailed 16-page questionnaires to the jury pool.

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One potential juror, a young Black woman, said repeatedly that she could not “unsee” the video of Floyd’s arrest, and was soon dismissed. Another, a white man in his 70s, said the footage left him appalled: “I’m sorry to Mr. Chauvin,” he said, as Chauvin looked up from the pages of notes he was making in a yellow legal pad, “but that’s where I am: I could not say I honestly would be an impartial juror.”

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill settled for jurors who could assure him that they could put aside any preconceived notions formed from international news coverage of the case.

Neither prosecutors from the Minnesota attorney general’s office nor Chauvin’s lawyers found reason to object to how one juror, a Black banker in his 30s, summarized Chauvin.

“I don’t think he had any intention of harming anyone,” the man said, “but somebody did die.”


Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, saying he was following police training during the deadly arrest of Floyd on May 25, 2020, on suspicion of passing a fake $20 bill.

Many potential jurors were led by lawyers through a dissection of the Black Lives Matter protest movement. Some saw it as an admirable rallying cry. Some saw it as diminishing the lives of non-Black people: “I think all lives matter,” several retorted.

“I am Black, and my life matters,” a grandmother in her 60s said, shortly before being picked as a juror.

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Some said they found the police a reassuring presence, though anyone who said they found police officers in general more inherently trustworthy than civilians was soon dismissed.

Some recalled painful past encounters with police: One Black man, who was dismissed, said he lived in a mostly Black community near the site of Floyd’s death. He told the court he recalled police cars would drive around the neighborhood after a fatal shooting blaring the song “Another One Bites The Dust.”

A white woman said she was “super excited” to receive the jury summons for this case last year. “Awesome!” she said when Cahill told her she would be on the jury.

More often, potential jurors said they felt uneasy upon opening the envelope with the court summons, or were upset by the barricades and barbed wire and soldiers from the state National Guard arrayed around the downtown Minneapolis tower where the trial is unfolding.

Cahill has promised all jurors anonymity for the trial’s duration. Still, one woman, a mother of three, left red-faced and on the verge of tears after Cahill gently dismissed her upon hearing how fearful she was for her family’s safety.

Cahill, who noted judges feel “protective” of their jurors, presented himself as a reassuring, avuncular figure: “The only ones who aren’t nervous are those of us who kind of live in the court,” he said to one man who seemed to need soothing.

But the judge showed flashes of anger, too. At one point, he threatened to cut off journalists’ access after a reporter wrote about the many armed guards he saw in and around the building.

A few days into jury selection, the city of Minneapolis announced a record-breaking $27 million payment for Floyd’s family to settle its wrongful death lawsuit. This frustrated Cahill, who was forced to dismiss two jurors he had already seated when they subsequently said the settlement would influence them.

“I’ve asked Minneapolis to stop talking about it,” Cahill said at one point, with visible irritation. “They keep talking about it. We keep talking about it. Everybody, just stop talking about it.”
 
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spaminator

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Prosecutor tells jury ex-Minneapolis officer's 'grinding and crushing' knee killed George Floyd
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Jonathan Allen
Publishing date:Mar 29, 2021 • 2 hours ago • 4 minute read • 47 Comments
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin listens as opening arguments commence in his trial for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., March 29, 2021 in a still image from video.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin listens as opening arguments commence in his trial for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., March 29, 2021 in a still image from video. PHOTO BY POOL VIA REUTERS /Reuters
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MINNEAPOLIS — Former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin betrayed his badge by “grinding” his knee into George Floyd’s neck during a deadly arrest last May, a prosecutor said on Monday at a murder trial that is widely seen as a test of the U.S. justice system.

Chauvin’s lawyers responded by saying that the former officer was simply following training from his 19 years on the force, even as they acknowledged that the arrest, caught in videos from multiple angles, was distressing to watch.

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“The use of force is not attractive but it is a necessary component of policing,” Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s lead lawyer, said in his opening statement, referring to the videos that show Floyd, a 46-year-old handcuffed Black man, pleading for his life. The footage sparked worldwide protests against police brutality against Black people.

But in his opening arguments, Jerry Blackwell, a prosecutor with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, told the racially diverse jury that officers who wear the Minneapolis police badge pledge never to use “unnecessary force or violence.”

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“You will learn that on May 25, Mr. Derek Chauvin betrayed this badge when he used excessive and unreasonable force upon the body of George Floyd,” said Blackwell, aiming for a rare conviction of a U.S. police officer for killing a civilian.

Blackwell displayed a still image from a bystander’s cellphone video showing Chauvin, who is white, with his knee on Floyd’s neck, saying it showed Chauvin “grinding and crushing him until the very breath — no, ladies and gentlemen — the very life was squeezed out of him.”

Chauvin and three other officers were trying to arrest Floyd on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes, a misdemeanor that prosecutors said could have been handled with a summons to appear in court instead of an arrest.


Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted on the most serious charge.

The Minneapolis Police Department fired all four officers the day after Floyd’s death, as daily protests against racial injustice erupted in cities across the country.

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Although the trial, which is being televised, is widely seen as a litmus test for U.S. racial relations, neither side discussed the race of the defendant or the victim in the statements to the jury.

Even so, the subtext of the trial was inescapable in the preceding two weeks of jury selection, where potential jurors were quizzed by the two sides on their views on the Black Lives Matter protest movement and whether they saw systemic racism in the criminal justice system.

The trial is unfolding in a courtroom located near the top floor of a tower in downtown Minneapolis ringed with high barriers, barbed wire and soldiers from the state’s National Guard. Small groups of protesters decrying police brutality blocked traffic at times in the surrounding streets.


Toward the end of his opening statement, Blackwell played for the jury the most widely seen video of Floyd’s death. Chauvin — dressed in a gray suit, a blue face mask and a blue shirt and tie — took pages of notes on a yellow legal pad as the sound of Floyd’s dying moans and the yelling of horrified onlookers filled the courtroom.

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Chauvin’s lawyers argue that the main cause of Floyd’s death, which the county examiner ruled a homicide caused by police restraints, was a drug overdose. Nelson used his 25-minute opening statement to describe Floyd’s drug use, his underlying health problems and a chaotic scene during the arrest.

“This was not an easy struggle,” he said, adding that the screaming of bystanders ended up “causing the officers to divert their attention from the care of Mr. Floyd.”

“Derek Chauvin did exactly what he was trained to do over the course of his 19-year career,” Nelson told the jury.

Prosecutors warned the jury to ignore defense arguments that Floyd’s death was caused by an opioid overdose. Blackwell drooped his head and shut his eyes, feigning a stupor, telling the jury that someone overdosing on fentanyl would be unconscious, and not “screaming for their mother.”

“That’s not what an opioid overdose looks like,” he said.

The first witness called by the prosecutors was Jena Scurry, a Minneapolis 911 emergency dispatcher who sent police to the Cup Foods store and watched live surveillance video footage showing a police car rock back and forth outside the store as four officers struggled to get Floyd to stay in the back seat.

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She said she watched the video, which was played to jurors, with growing alarm.

“I first asked if the screen had frozen,” she said. Each time she looked up, she testified, the officers were still on top of Floyd.

“My instinct is telling me something is wrong,” said Scurry, who called a supervising police sergeant. Jurors heard her say she did not mean to be a “snitch” but she wondered if the officers needed more help.

Prosecutors also called two bystanders who saw the arrest.

“I always see the police there,” Alisha Oyler, who worked in the gas station across from the arrest, said when asked why she kept taking video on her cellphone. “They’re always messing with people and it’s wrong. It’s not right.”
 

harrylee

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My opinion....Floyd was a piece of shit. That said, no one deserves to die that way. Once subdued, the knee should have came off the neck. The officer overstepped his authority.
 
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JLM

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I think a "piece of shit" is a little strong! I'd prefer to think "he had issues" some of which he was unable to overcome. The burning question now is did the cop mean to kill him? I think the cop was definitely guilty of killing him but I'd hesitate to call it murder.
 

spaminator

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Witnesses to George Floyd's deadly arrest tell jury of their shock, horror
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Jonathan Allen
Publishing date:Mar 30, 2021 • 14 hours ago • 4 minute read • 6 Comments
This still image taken from a May 25, 2020, video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows a Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer Derek Chauvin restraining George Floyd (not pictured).
This still image taken from a May 25, 2020, video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows a Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer Derek Chauvin restraining George Floyd (not pictured). PHOTO BY DARNELLA FRAZIER/FACEBOOK /AFP via Getty Images
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MINNEAPOLIS — Prosecution witnesses on Tuesday described in searing detail their horror in watching the final moments of George Floyd’s life as they testified against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis policeman charged with Floyd’s murder.

Jurors listened with visible sympathy as they heard from the teenager who recorded a video viewed by millions worldwide that shows Chauvin, who is white, using his knee to pin the neck of Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, to the ground.


Darnella Frazier, an 18-year-old student who told the court she suffers from social anxiety, broke down in tears as she described her feelings of guilt and anger after witnessing the arrest on May 25, 2020.

“He had this cold look, heartless,” Frazier said, as Chauvin listened alongside his lawyer at a nearby table, taking notes in a yellow legal pad.

Before her testimony, a professional mixed martial arts fighter spoke about his increasing agitation as he watched the prone Floyd struggle for breath. Later in the day, a uniformed firefighter who was at the scene while off duty described her distress at Chauvin and other officers stopping her from giving chest compressions to Floyd, who was by then unconscious.

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“Mr. Chauvin seemed very comfortable with the majority of his weight balanced on top of Mr. Floyd,” Genevieve Hansen, who took the stand in her white Minneapolis Fire Department uniform with a badge and black tie, told jurors. “In my memory, he had his hand in his pocket.”

Frazier’s footage, which prosecutors say shows excessive force, led to one of the largest protest movements seen in the United States in decades, with daily marches against disproportionate rates of police violence against Black people.

Lawyers for Chauvin, 45, say he followed his police training and is not guilty of the charges brought by the Minnesota attorney general’s office of second-degree murder, third-degree murder or second-degree manslaughter.

Donald Williams, the mixed martial arts fighter, can be heard in bystander videos screaming insults at Chauvin and demanding police check for Floyd’s pulse. He told jurors he believed that Chauvin was using his knee in a “blood choke” on Floyd, a wrestling move to knock an opponent unconscious, and a “shimmy” move to tighten pressure on Floyd’s neck.

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A 911 call Williams made after the arrest was played. Williams dabbed his eyes with a tissue as his distressed voice filled the courtroom.

“I believe I witnessed a murder,” Williams, 33, told the jury. “So I felt I needed to call the police on the police.”


Chauvin’s lead lawyer, Eric Nelson, has sought to convince the jury that Chauvin may have felt threatened by bystanders, which prosecutors dispute.

In a sometimes tense cross-examination, Nelson read aloud the insults, some of them obscene, that Williams hurls at Chauvin in the video.

“You call him a ‘tough guy’?” Nelson asked, demanding only a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Williams looked away with a slight smile as each insult was read out.

“You call him a ‘bum’ at least 13 times?” Nelson continued.

“If that’s what you count in the video,” Williams replied, smiling again, “then that’s what you got: 13.”

Later on Tuesday, Hensen said she was rebuffed by another policeman when she sought aid for Floyd. She testified the other officer told her: “If you really are a Minneapolis firefighter, you would know better than to get involved.”

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She can be heard on the video screaming at the police to check Floyd’s pulse. “I pled and was desperate,” she said. A water bottle shook in her hand as she sipped it to calm her tears.

“It’s what I would have done for anybody,” she said.

Frazier was walking her 9-year-old cousin to buy some snacks at Cup Foods, where a worker had moments before accused Floyd of using a fake $20 bill, when she saw police arresting Floyd on the road outside.

She began to cry when prosecutors brought up a still from her video, showing the moment when Chauvin, his knee on Floyd’s neck, appears to look directly into Frazier’s camera lens.

She was asked by both sides how producing the most famous record of Floyd’s death had changed her life.

“When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad, I look at my brothers, I look at my cousins, my uncles, because they are all Black,” she said. “It could have been one of them.”

She said she would sometimes stay up late at night thinking of Floyd, apologizing to him for “not saving his life.”

Minutes later, Frazier’s young cousin, her hair in braids, took her place in the witness stand, saying in a small voice she recognized Chauvin as the man she saw kneeling on Floyd.

“I was sad,” the girl said, “and kind of mad.”
 

spaminator

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'I THOUGHT HE WAS DEAD': Paramedics who treated Floyd testify at Chauvin trial
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Jonathan Allen
Publishing date:Apr 01, 2021 • 1 day ago • 4 minute read • 18 Comments
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin attends the fourth day of his trial for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 1, 2021 in a still image from video.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin attends the fourth day of his trial for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 1, 2021 in a still image from video. PHOTO BY REUTERS /Pool via REUTERS
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MINNEAPOLIS — Paramedics who treated George Floyd said he was not breathing and had no pulse when they arrived at the scene of his deadly arrest last May in testimony on Thursday at the murder trial of former policeman Derek Chauvin.

“In lay terms, I thought he was dead,” Derek Smith, one of the paramedics, told the jury. By the time Smith arrived, Chauvin, who is white, had been pressing his knee into the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man in handcuffs, for about nine minutes, a scene that ignited global protests against police brutality.


Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges. In a central dispute of the trial, his lawyers have argued that Floyd’s death, which the county medical examiner ruled was a homicide at the hands of police, was really an overdose caused by the fentanyl found in his blood at autopsy.

Prosecutors from the Minnesota attorney general’s office have told the jury they will hear evidence to contradict this, including testimony from his girlfriend about his drug tolerance, and that Floyd’s drug use is irrelevant to the charges against Chauvin.

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Here are some key moments from the fourth day of witness testimony:

COURTENEY ROSS, FLOYD’S GIRLFRIEND

Courteney Ross, 45, was the first person who personally knew Floyd to testify in the trial, and with a heart-shaped brooch pinned to her black jacket she tearfully spoke of their romance and their shared struggles with opioid addiction.


“It’s one of my favorite stories to tell,” she said, smiling toward the jury, when asked by a prosecutor how she first met Floyd in August, 2017, at a Salvation Army homeless shelter, where he worked as a security guard.

She was waiting in the lobby to see the father of her son, tired after closing up the coffee shop where she worked. Floyd approached her.

“Floyd has this great, deep, southern voice, raspy,” she said, “and he was, like, ‘Sis’, you OK, sis’?'”

He sensed she felt alone, and offered to pray with her.

“It was so sweet,” she said, dabbing a tissue to her eyes. “At the time I had lost a lot of faith in God.”

They had their first kiss in the lobby that night and, but for the occasional break after a lovers’ quarrel, were together until his death, she said.

They took walks in the parks and around the lakes of Minneapolis, which was still new to the Texas-raised Floyd, and ate out a lot: “He was a big man,” she said, describing his daily weightlifting, “and it look a lot of energy to keep him going.” She said he adored his mother, who died in 2018, and his two young daughters.

She described how they both began taking prescription painkillers before turning to the black market.

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“It’s a classic story of how many people get addicted to opioids,” Ross said. “We both suffered from chronic pain: mine was in my neck, his was in his back.”

Sometimes they shook the habit, sometimes they relapsed.

“Addiction, in my opinion, is a lifelong struggle,” she said. “It’s not something that comes and goes, it’s something I’ll deal with forever.”

Chauvin’s lead lawyer, Eric Nelson, asked Ross many questions in cross-examination about how the couple got their drugs and an episode where Floyd took himself to a hospital emergency room for what proved to be a non-fatal overdose.

She said she thought Floyd sometimes bought pills from Morries Hall, who was sat in the car next to Floyd in the front passenger seat when police arrived last May.

Nelson has subpoenaed Hall to testify when the defense presents its case, and has told the jury that Hall and a woman in the car would tell them that they saw Floyd swallow two pills before police arrived on May 25 and that he fell into a deep sleep.

Through a lawyer, Hall said he would invoke his constitutional right against self-incrimination if called to testify, and asked Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill to quash the subpoena.

SETH BRAVINDER AND DEREK SMITH, PARAMEDICS WHO TREATED FLOYD

Floyd appeared to be not breathing and had no pulse when Seth Bravinder and Derek Smith of Hennepin Emergency Medical Services arrived in an ambulance outside Cup Foods, where Floyd was suspected of passing a fake $20 bill earlier in the evening.

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They had to ask Chauvin and other officers to move.


“They were still on top of him,” Bravinder told the jury. His first thought was that some kind of struggle was going on, but it quickly became clear that Floyd was limp.

Smith could not find a pulse, and his pupils were dilated. Bravinder cradled Floyd’s head as they transferred him to a gurney. They stopped two blocks away to continue resuscitation efforts on Floyd. Bravinder saw a flat line on the heart monitor.

“It’s not a good sign,” Bravinder said.

Jurors were shown images of paramedics checking Floyd inside the ambulance, congealed blood below his nose and red scrape marks on his left shoulder. The paramedics could not revive him.
 

Ron in Regina

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Apr 9, 2008
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My opinion....Floyd was a piece of shit. That said, no one deserves to die that way. Once subdued, the knee should have came off the neck. The officer overstepped his authority.
Once handcuffed with his hands behind his back, he's not much of a threat. Once handcuffed with his hands behind his back a person shouldn't be placed face down as that restricts their breathing even without three men on top of them including one kneeling on his neck. If a person is cuffed with their hands behind their back and they are not on their own feet, then they're to be placed either in a seated position or laying on their side so as not to further restrict their breathing. What happened in this instance (?) & why?

If FOUR Officiers where afraid of an single person with their hands cuffed behind their back already, then snap a second set of cuffs around their ankles & call it job done. Something went horribly wrong with this situation and it's inexcusable at best and reprehensible in the extreme.
 
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spaminator

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A knee on a neck can kill, Minneapolis homicide lieutenant says at Chauvin murder trial
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Jonathan Allen
Publishing date:Apr 02, 2021 • 10 hours ago • 2 minute read • 11 Comments
Retired Minneapolis Police Sergeant David Pleoger answers questions on the fourth day of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., April 1, 2021, in this courtroom sketch.
Retired Minneapolis Police Sergeant David Pleoger answers questions on the fourth day of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., April 1, 2021, in this courtroom sketch. PHOTO BY JANE ROSENBERG /REUTERS
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MINNEAPOLIS — A Minneapolis homicide investigator said police officer Derek Chauvin used “totally unnecessary” deadly force when kneeling on George Floyd’s neck during an arrest last May in testimony at Chauvin’s murder trial on Friday.

Chauvin, who is white, was fired by the city’s police department the day after he was captured on video on top of a dying Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man in handcuffs, in a scene that sparked protests against police brutality around the world.


“Totally unnecessary,” Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman told the jury when prosecutors asked him what he thought of Chauvin pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes. “If your knee is on a person’s neck, that can kill them.”

Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges. Prosecutors from the Minnesota attorney general’s office called Zimmerman to testify in part to undermine a central dispute in the case: Chauvin’s assertion that he correctly followed his police training.

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Here are some of the most important moments from the fifth day of witness testimony:


LIEUTENANT ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE HOMICIDE INVESTIGATOR

Zimmerman, who joined the Minneapolis Police Department in 1985 and is now its most senior officer, was at home on May 25, 2020, when he was called to the intersection outside Cup Foods, where Floyd was suspected of passing a fake $20 bill earlier in the evening.

He arrived just before 10 p.m., about half an hour after Floyd had been declared dead at a downtown hospital, and said he helped ensure that evidence was properly secured and any witnesses were found.

Zimmerman said officers were responsible for the care of anyone they arrested and are trained to give first aid to an injured or distressed detainee even if they know an ambulance is coming.

“His safety is your responsibility, his wellbeing is your responsibility,” he told the jury.

He described how officers are trained only to respond to any threat with a proportionate amount of force.

“Once a person is cuffed, the threat level goes down all the way,” Zimmerman told the jury after prosecutors called him to testify. “They’re cuffed. How can they really hurt you, you know?”

And he warned of the dangers of leaving a person in a prone position.

“Once you’ve secured or handcuffed a person you need to get them out of the prone position as soon as possible because it restricts their breathing,” he said.

He offered harsh testimony against the way his former colleague and other officers at the scene restrained Floyd.

“Pulling him down to the ground face down, and putting your knee on the neck for that amount of time is just uncalled for,” Zimmerman said. “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 to feel in order to use that kind of force.”

In cross-examination, Zimmerman agreed when Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s lead lawyer, pointed out that the lieutenant does not train officers in how to use restraints and that as an investigator he has to use force less often than a patrolling officer.
 

spaminator

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Cher apologizes for George Floyd tweet
Author of the article:WENN - World Entertainment News Network
Publishing date:Apr 04, 2021 • 7 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
In this file photo taken on Oct. 10, 2013, singer and actress Cher poses in Paris.
In this file photo taken on Oct. 10, 2013, singer and actress Cher poses in Paris. PHOTO BY FRANCOIS GUILLOT /AFP via Getty Images
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Cher has apologized after receiving backlash for insisting she could have saved police brutality victim George Floyd.

Like many Americans, the singer has been watching coverage of the ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer whose controversial actions led to Floyd’s death in May, sparking a summer of Black Lives Matter protests, but fans and followers on social media felt she went too far when she suggested she could have saved George if she was there.


“Was talking With Mom & She Said ‘I Watched Trial Of Policeman Who Killed George Floyd,& Cried’,” Cher tweeted. “I Said ‘Mom, I Know This Is Gonna Sound CRAZY, But I Kept Thinking… Maybe If I’d Been There… I Could’ve Helped (sic).”

The backlash was swift over the weekend, with one fan writing: “I love you cher but your white savior complex is showing.” Another added: “This is significantly underplaying what witnesses who testified TRIED to do to stop his death. There have been MULTIPLE testimonies of everyone from a firefighter to an MMA fighter to a senior man who attempted to diffuse the situation (sic). Singing songs doesn’t erase racism, Cher.”

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The singer then jumped back on social media and attempted to explain herself, adding: “Wrestled With This Twt (tweet), Because I Thought some ppl (people) wouldn’t understand, Or Believe an Entertainer Could have Honest emotions about a human Being, suffering & Dying, even if It’s Only Shown On tv. You Don’t Know What I’ve Done, Who I Am, Or What I Believe. I CAN, I HAVE, & I WILL… HELP…(sic)”


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She returned later and admitted a pal had made her realize her tweet was ill-conceived.

“I Just got off phone With Friend Karen,” she explained. “Told her what Happened, & Realized, You Can Piss Ppl Off, & Hurt Them By Not Knowing Everything That’s ‘NOT Appropriate’ To Say. I know Ppl Apologize When They’re In a Jam, BUT TO GOD, IM TRULY SORRY If I Upset AnyOne In Blk Community. I Know My (heart) (sic).”
 

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Chauvin broke Minneapolis department rules in arresting George Floyd, police chief testifies
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Jonathan Allen
Publishing date:Apr 05, 2021 • 10 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation
In this courtroom sketch, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo answers questions on the sixth day of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Monday, April 5, 2021.
In this courtroom sketch, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo answers questions on the sixth day of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Monday, April 5, 2021. PHOTO BY JANE ROSENBERG /REUTERS
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MINNEAPOLIS — Derek Chauvin violated Minneapolis Police Department rules and its ethics code on respecting the “sanctity of life” during the deadly arrest of George Floyd last May, the city’s police chief testified at the former officer’s murder trial on Monday.

“It’s not part of our training, and it is certainly not part of our ethics and our values,” said Chief Medaria Arradondo, referring to how Chauvin, who is white, held his knee on the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, for more than nine minutes. A bystander’s video of Floyd’s dying moments sparked global protests against police brutality.


Over 3-1/2 hours of testimony, Arradondo disputed the defense’s claim that Chauvin, who has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges, was following the training he had received in his 19 years on the force.

According to law experts who track police prosecutions, it is highly unusual for a city’s senior police official to testify that one of his former subordinates used excessive force. Chauvin, who along with three other officers was fired by Arradondo a day after the arrest, sat nearby in a suit, taking notes.

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In opening statements last week, a prosecutor told the jury that it would hear from Arradondo, who would not “mince words.” Last year, the chief released a statement castigating Chauvin, saying: “This was murder — it wasn’t a lack of training.”

On Monday, he appeared dressed in a blue uniform, placed his chief’s hat on a ledge in front of him with its golden badge visible to the jury, and spoke with his hands clasped in front of him.


“I vehemently disagree that that was appropriate use of force for that situation on May 25,” he said.

He said officers are trained to treat people with dignity and are sworn to uphold the “sanctity of life.” They are trained in basic first aid and given annual refresher courses, be it in tying a tourniquet to a bleeding gunshot victim or using a naloxone inhaler to reverse an opioid overdose.

Chauvin failed to follow his training in several respects, Arradondo said. He could tell from Floyd’s grimaces that Chauvin was using more than the maximum “light-to-moderate” pressure an officer is allowed to use on someone’s neck.

The officer did not relent in using deadly force even as Floyd fell unconscious and he did not provide the mandated first aid to a dying Floyd, Arradondo said.

“It’s contrary to our training to indefinitely place your knee on a prone, handcuffed individual for an indefinite period of time,” he said, echoing testimony last week by the department’s most senior homicide investigator who called Chauvin’s use of force “totally unacceptable.”

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In cross-examination, Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s lead lawyer, began with getting Arradondo to say it had been “many years” since he himself had made an arrest.

“I’m not trying to be dismissive,” Nelson said. He also had Arradondo agree with him that a police officer’s use of force is often “not attractive.”


‘HAVE YOU SEEN THE VIDEO?’

Arradondo was at home on the night of Floyd’s death when a deputy chief called him to say a “critical” situation appeared to have unfolded at the intersection outside a food store where Floyd was arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes.

That Floyd was taken into custody at all was unusual, Arradondo said, given it was a non-violent misdemeanor. He said he called the state agency that investigates any case where police kill someone. He then called Mayor Jacob Frey, who in 2017 appointed Arradondo as the first Black person to lead the city’s police, and headed downtown to his office in City Hall.

The first video he saw, a long shot taken on a city surveillance camera across the street, did not show him much. But shortly before midnight, he got a call from someone “in the community.”

“They said almost verbatim: ‘Have you seen the video of your officer choking and killing that man at 38th and Chicago?'” Arradondo recalled. “Eventually, within minutes of that, I saw for the first time what is now known as the bystander video.”

He could see how long Chauvin had kept Floyd pinned facedown, and concluded it was in breach of his department’s “principles and values.”

“We are oftentimes the first face of government our community will see, and we will often meet them at their worst moments,” Arradondo told the jury when asked by a prosecutor to describe the meaning of the badge the city’s roughly 700 sworn officers wear. “That has to count for something.”