Court TV via AP
Retired Sergeant. David Pleuger of the Minneapolis Police Department testified Thursday in the trial of former officer Derek Chauvin that the force officers who used against George Floyd had gone on for so long and should have ended as soon as Floyd was restrained and stopped resisting.
“When Mr. Floyd no longer displayed any resistance to the officers, they could have ended the restraint,” Pleuger told the court.
“It would be reasonable to put a knee on someone’s neck so that he would not resist anymore, but it should stop when the fighting stops,” he said, adding later that officers are supposed to put the tied up next to them to help with their breath, according to police policy.
Pleuger was the last witness on Thursday and opened the door to what would likely be a technical part of the trial.
Pleuger, who was the duty supervisor in charge of Chauvin and the three other officers who responded to a call about a man trying to use a fake bill in Cup Foods, was repeatedly asked about the administration’s use of force policies in an effort to determine whether Chauvin violated those protocols or acted within their limits.
A veteran law enforcement officer is a supervisor who has been called in before Submitter 911 Jena Scurry The day Floyd died in police custody. Scory, who testified on Monday, was alarmed upon seeing real-time video footage of the arrest, telling the court that officers had pinned Floyd to the ground in a prone position for a long time, and she initially believed her transmitter screen had frozen.
On the tape of her call to the department, the court heard her telling Pleuger that she believed the officers had used excessive force but that the incident had not been reported until that point.
That call prompted Pleuger to call Chauvin on his cell phone, an exchange the jury first heard on Thursday.
On the call, Sergeant Chauvin asked what was happening.
The defendant can be heard saying, “I was just going to call, are you out here?”
“We had to hit a guy,” Chauvin said, before cutting off the recorded part of the call. “He’s gone crazy … He won’t get into the back of the team.”
Pleuger did not tell he was able to restrain Floyd by pressing his knee into the neck of the black man for about nine minutes. Narrated by the spectators What appeared to be his last breath.
Ploeger recalled on the stage: “I think he told me they tried to put Mister Floyd, I didn’t know his name at the time, Mister Floyd in the car. He got combat.”
“I think he mentioned he was injured – either his nose or his mouth, I think, his lip was bloody, and in the end after his suffering, he had a medical emergency and an ambulance was called and they got out of the scene,” Blogger continued.
After the call, Pleuger said he drove to the scene, where he learned upon arrival the seriousness of the situation. But even after his arrival, he told the court, neither Chauvin nor any of the other officers told him that the accused had kneeled on Floyd’s neck and back, while he was handcuffed and long after his death.
Pleuger said it wasn’t until later that night at Hennepin County Medical Center that Chauvin finally told him what he had done. But the officer did not specify the length of time, so did Floyd.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson spent much of the mutual questioning as he posed to Pleuger a series of hypothetical questions to explain how officers are required to rate the different threat levels in any given situation and adjust their behavior accordingly.
Nelson asked: If a crowd of bystanders grows increasingly during arrest, should the officer focus on the arrest or the crowd?
Pleuger replied, “I think you will have to deal with both at once.
Nelson then proposed a more extreme scenario: He asked if Pleuger was involved in a gunfight and injured a person, would he deal with the threat or would he administer CPR on the fictional victim? ”
Pleuger said he would deal with the threat.
In response to another of Nelson’s questions, Pleuger said he agrees that officers sometimes have to do very violent things.
Then Attorney General Steve Schleicher picked up the same thread but it came from the opposite corner.
“Sometimes, the information they receive may lead officers to take more stringent action. But sometimes the information they receive may lead to the use of less risky procedures,” Schleicher said.
Pleuger replied, “Correct.”
The public prosecutor asked: “Some of the information that the officer must take is whether or not a person is resisting, and if the person does not resist, there is no longer a need to continue his detention.”
Schleicher then asked whether it was reasonable in the critical thinking model for the officer to take the medical condition of the subject into account.
“For example, if the subject is no longer breathing, is it important to take that into account … or if the topic no longer has a pulse, should they consider it and decide perhaps to take a different step?
“Yes,” Pleuger agreed.
“And in such a case, is it possible that the officer would not have to do something violent but less violent. Such as providing medical assistance?”
Once again, Pleuger said yes.
Then Schleicher returned to the example of Nelson’s firefight.
“You have not seen a gun battle,” he asked, referring to the various videos Pleuger reviewed of the incident.
Pleuger replied, “No.”