Apr 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Chauvin could have stopped restraining Floyd sooner, ex-supervisor says

Derek Chauvin's former supervisor, retired police Sgt. David Pleoger, testified Thursday that officers could have stopped restraining George Floyd sooner.

The big picture: The testimony capped off the fourth day of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Chauvin, who faces murder and manslaughter charges.

What they're saying: "Based on your review of the body worn camera footage, do you have an opinion as to when the restraint of Mr. Floyd should have ended in this encounter," a prosecutor asked.

  • "Yes," Pleoger said. "When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended the restraint."
  • The prosecutor then asked if that was when Floyd was handcuffed and on the ground, and Pleoger said, "Correct."

Jurors also heard Chauvin describing the May 2020 incident through a body camera that captured a call between Chauvin and Pleoger. Chauvin told his then-supervisor that Floyd "was going crazy."

  • Pleoger testified he wasn't immediately told that Chauvin had placed his knee on Floyd's neck. When Chauvin told him later that night, Pleoger said the then-officer did not reveal how long his knee had remained on Floyd.

Pleoger also said 911 dispatcher Jena Scurry contacted him and said she was concerned about how police officers were handling the situation.

  • He said that he fielded concerns through 911 dispatch about possible excessive use of force by officers, but that his initial assessment at the time was that it was a less serious takedown.
  • Scurry testified earlier this week that she felt a "gut instinct" that "something was not right" as she watched police officers hold Floyd on the ground.

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