The former Minneapolis police officer who held his knee on George Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes is asking a Hennepin County judge to block any evidence that accuses him of using neck restraints on previous suspects.
According to The Hill, Attorney Eric Nelson, who represents Chauvin, argued that his client’s previous use of force was permitted and in any investigation he was “acquitted by MPD supervisors of applying force in a manner that was either unreasonable or unauthorized.”
“The state attempts to characterize Mr. Chauvin’s use of force as ‘unreasonable’ or ‘beyond what was needed,’” the lawyer wrote. “And in every single one, it was determined by a supervisor that Mr. Chauvin’s use of force was reasonable in the circumstances and authorized by law and MPD policy.”
REVOLT previously reported that Chauvin had been accused of using excessive force on multiple arrestees. According to prosecutors, last year Chauvin allegedly kicked an intoxicated man and used a neck restraint on him until he lost consciousness. Prosecutors claim Chauvin used a neck restraint — similar to the one used on Floyd — at least four different times.
Last month, Judge Peter A. Cahill dismissed Chauvin’s third-degree murder charge for his involvement in the death of Floyd. However, his other charges — which include second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — still remain.
Earlier this month, Cahill ruled that Chauvin, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane will all have to stand trial together. The judge decided on one trial because he believed the officers’ defenses were “mutually supportive.”
“[A]ll Defendants contend they were authorized in using force because Floyd was resisting their demands to take a seat in the squad car for transport to the jail for booking and that the force they used was reasonable,” he wrote. “In addition, all Defendants contend that Floyd’s death resulted from his underlying medical conditions, heart disease, and hypertension acting in combination with several drugs found in his system post-mortem and was not caused by their actions in subduing and restraining him.”