An expert witness called by defense attorneys for former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin defended his restraint of George Floyd during their fatal encounter last May — but admitted under cross-examination that it was a “use of force” against department policy.
Barry Brodd — a former cop and use-of-force expert — said Chauvin and other officers at the scene had placed Floyd in “prone position” by laying him on the ground face down and in handcuffs.
Chauvin then kneeled on Floyd to maintain control over him while he was on the pavement, Brodd said.
While being questioned by Chauvin’s defense attorney, Brodd said this tactic is not considered a “use of force” and argued it could actually be safer for officers and suspects involved.
“There’s minimal effort to keep them on the ground,” Brodd said of holding a suspect in the position.
But under cross examination, Brodd admitted to prosecutor Steve Schleicher that the restraint could produce pain and therefore be a use of force that is against Minneapolis Police Department policy.
Brodd also argued that Chauvin had reason to put Floyd in prone position, because he initially resisted officers who pulled him out of a police car by kicking his legs.
Under cross examination, Brodd acknowledged that Chauvin was holding Floyd in the restraint after he had passed out and could not resist.
“By the time the defendant got off Mr. Floyd, he could literally not support his own head,” Schleicher said.
“I think he would know he’s not resisting,” Brodd said.
The use-of-force expert was the Chauvin team’s star witness on the first day of their defense.
During the prosecution’s case presented last week, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said he believes the cop used excessive force that violated department policy during the fatal encounter on May 25.
Chauvin faces second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges in the case.