One of the major questions at the heart of the Chauvin trial: Was the use of force exerted by the former police officer reasonable?
The answers to that query are far-ranging. On Tuesday, Barry Brodd, a former police officer and use-of-force expert called by the defense, testified that putting Floyd in a prone position on the ground was justified and not necessarily a deadly use of force, contradicting numerous witnesses called by the prosecution, including other use-of-force experts.
One of those witnesses, Seth Stoughton, a law professor, former police officer and paid expert for the prosecution, argued Monday that Chauvin should have identified that the force could have led to Floyd’s medical distress.
“No reasonable officer would have believed that that was an appropriate, acceptable or reasonable use of force,” Stoughton testified.
The differing opinions are partly due to the various factors experts weigh when determining whether the use of force is justified, according to police trainer and former detective Kevin R. Davis.
“These things have to be judged on the totality of the circumstances,” Davis told The Post in an interview Tuesday.
One of those determinations is the “foreseeable effects” of the use of force, including how it could affect the health of the person police are handling.
“The problem is, we’re not medical doctors,” Davis said.
Still, Davis said, suspects have been placed in the prone position every day throughout the country and survived.
Davis disputed that the prone position, used to handcuff a subject, is a use of force. He also said “positional asphyxia,” or the lack of oxygen a person can take in when restrained, has been debunked, pointing to research by California doctors that indicated other risk factors like “acute alcohol intoxication” are at play.
Prosecutors contend Floyd’s death was caused by Chauvin’s knee on his neck, causing him to gasp for breath. But the defense has argued that Chauvin did what he was trained to do, blaming Floyd’s drug use and other preexisting conditions.