Derek Chauvin taught ‘to avoid neck pressure’ before George Floyd’s death

Derek Chauvin, the former officer accused of murdering George Floyd was ‘trained to avoid neck pressure’, says police instructor.

In the prosecutor’s effort to dismantle the argument that the accused former police officer was doing following protocol when he put his knee on George Floyd‘s neck, another member of the Minneapolis police force has come forward to testify.

According to testimony and records submitted on Tuesday, Derek Chauvin had training on using the least amount of force required to get someone to comply.

Derek Chauvin Trial
Image: Daily Sabah

Police in Minneapolis are taught to restrain combative suspects by placing a knee on their back or shoulders, but are told to “stay away from the neck when possible”, police instructor, Lieutenant Johnny Mercil told the jury.

Sergeant Ker Yang, who is in charge of crisis-intervention training, said officers are taught to: “slow things down and re-evaluate and reassess,” noting that Chauvin took a 40-hour course in crisis-intervention training.

According to testimony, the course, undertaken in 2016, taught Chauvin how to: “recognise people in crisis, including those suffering mental problems or the effects of drug use, and how to use de-escalation techniques to calm them down”. 

In front of the jury, Steve Schleicher, one of the many prosecutors on the case seeking to ensure that justice is served, suggested that Floyd was held down long after he could be considered a potential threat. He asked Lieutenant Mercil: “Have you have ever had a circumstance where an individual has lost their pulse and suddenly come back to life and become more violent?” Lieutenant Mercil replied“Not that I’m aware of, sir”. 

Lieutenant Mercil testified that it takes less than ten seconds for someone to be rendered unconscious with a neck restraint. George Floyd was restrained for eight minutes and forty-six seconds.