David Pleoger, a former Minneapolis Police Department sergeant and supervisor to Derek Chauvin, testified that the former cop should have removed his knee from George Floyd’s neck as soon as he was no longer resisting.
On Thursday (April 1), Sgt. Pleoger said he arrived at the scene shortly after Floyd’s limp body was taken away in an ambulance. He testified that he did not find out that Chauvin had his knee on a victim’s neck until he arrived at the hospital.
According to Pleoger, officers are trained to lay prisoners on their side after their hands and feet are restrained. He said the practice is done so that captives are able to “breathe easier” without “breathing complications.” He also warned of the potential dangers of “positional asphyxia” during arrests.
Pleoger then testified that Chauvin should've removed his knee from Floyd’s neck after he noticed he was no longer resisting. “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?” Special Assistant Attorney General Steve Schleicher asked Pleoger.
“Yes,” the former sergeant replied. “When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended the restraint.”
Yesterday (March 31), jurors were able to witness body cam footage from the former Minneapolis police officers who were on the scene during Floyd’s deadly arrest.
In Chauvin’s body cam video, the public heard the former cop defend his actions of kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost 10 minutes as witnesses pleaded for him to get up. “That’s one person’s opinion,” Chauvin told one of the bystanders as he got into his squad car. “We had to control this guy because he’s a sizable guy. It looks like he’s probably on something.”
Chauvin is facing charges of manslaughter, second-degree murder and third-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. His trial proceedings will resume Friday (April 2) at 9:15 a.m. CT.