April 5 (UPI) — The murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who’s charged with the death of George Floyd, begins its second week on Monday — and jurors are expected to hear expert testimony involving the cause of Floyd’s death and the use of police force during his arrest.
Jurors heard from 19 witnesses last week, including several who were present during Floyd’s death and gave emotional testimony in describing the scene and their attempts to intervene.
Court is scheduled to resume Monday at 9:30 a.m. CDT.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo is expected to be a key witness for the prosecution this week. Arradondo has previously called Floyd’s death a “murder,” and said that Chauvin should have known better than to keep his weight on Floyd’s neck.
Last week, Chauvin’s former supervisor and other officers testified about police training and the officers’ use of force against Floyd. Minneapolis Police Lt. Richard Zimmerman said Friday that kneeling on the neck of a suspect is potentially lethal and called Chauvin’s use of force on Floyd “totally unnecessary.”
“Holding him down to the ground face down and putting your knee on the neck for that amount of time, is just uncalled for,” he said.
Zimmerman also said in testimony last week that officers should have stopped restraining Floyd after he was handcuffed.
Chauvin and three other officers arrested Floyd on May 25, 2020, after an employee at a convenience store said he tried to pay with a counterfeit $ 20 bill. During the arrest, Chauvin forced him into a prone position on the ground and kneeled down on the back of his neck for several minutes.
On Thursday, Zimmerman became the second senior officer to question Chauvin’s use of force during his testimony. Retired Sgt. David Pleoger, Chauvin’s supervisor, said the physical restraint against Floyd should have ended when it became clear he was “no longer offering up any resistance.”
Defense attorney Eric Nelson has sought to persuade jurors that drugs contributed to Floyd’s death, not Chauvin’s actions.
Also testifying last week was the clerk of the store that called police about Floyd’s possibly counterfeit money, who told the court he felt some regret about the confrontation.
“I was standing there on the curb, and I was just like, ‘They’re not going to help him,'” clerk Christopher Martin said of watching Floyd’s arrest, adding that he felt some guilt about the ordeal.
The jury can convict Chauvin of second- or third-degree murder, or second-degree manslaughter. The trial is expected to last around four weeks.