In an amazing turn of events, a national use-of-force expert testified in the Derek Chauvin murder trial on Tuesday that Chauvin DID NOT use deadly force on George Floyd.
Paul Blume, a journalist with FOX 9 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, reported on Tuesday that national use-of-force expert Barry Brodd, testified for the defense. Blume provided two clips from his testimony.
It’s pretty clear that Brodd blew two Grand Canyon-sized holes in the prosecution’s case against Chauvin. The prosecution is trying to prove that Chauvin and the other officers used excessive force against George Floyd. Additionally, they’re making the claim that putting Floyd into the prone position was unsafe and unreasonable and that it contributed to his death.
The prosecution’s case was bolstered by last Thursday’s testimony of Dr. Martin Tobin, “a pulmonologist who specializes in the mechanics of breathing.”
I posted about Dr. Tobin’s testimony on Monday. I also presented a lawyer’s analysis of his testimony. I wrote:
Asked what he believed was George Floyd’s cause of death, Dr. Tobin replied, “You’re seeing here fatal injury to the brain from a lack of oxygen.”
Dr. Tobin explained that it was difficult for Floyd to breathe with his rib cage flattened against the pavement, his hands cuffed behind his back and the “placement of Mr. Chauvin’s knees on his neck and back.”
In the first clip below, Chauvin’s Defense attorney, Eric Nelson, questions Brodd about the “three-pronged analysis” he uses to determine if an excessive degree of force was used in a case. Nelson noted the first prong was whether there was justification for the detention. The second prong was the level of resistance exhibited by the suspect. “What’s the third prong?”
Brodd replied: “What the officer did to overcome that resistance. So, if somebody pulls away from you and they’re actively resisting, does the officer pull out a baton and strike him in the head. That, to me, would be excessive. So, was the officer’s use of force proportionate to the level of resistance demonstrated by the suspect?”
“Objectively reasonable, correct,” asked Nelson.
“Yes,” answered Brodd.
“In terms of your three-part analysis, did you apply that analysis to this case?
“In your opinion, was this the use of deadly force?”
“It was not.”
Nelson asked Brodd to explain that.
Brodd replied, “So, I’ll give you an example that I used to teach my academy classes. So, officers respond to a domestic violence situation. And the suspect is still there, and he fights with the officers and the officers are justified in using a Taser to overcome this person’s noncompliance. They tase the individual and the individual falls to the ground, strikes their head and dies. So that isn’t an incident of deadly force. That’s an incident of an accidental death and in my review, I would look to see whether the suspect’s resistance justified the use of the Taser was objectively reasonable.”
In the second video, Nelson questions Brodd about the safety of Floyd’s position on the pavement.
Nelson is asking Brodd for his comment on the officers’ “keeping a suspect in the prone position who is potentially drug-impaired. Are there safety reasons to do that?
Brodd responds, “Again, so as I discussed earlier, potential erratic behavior, going from compliant to non-compliant, not feeling any pain, potentially having super-human strength, and it’s just safer for the officer and for the suspect to keep him in that prone control.”
“Why would it be safer for the suspect to keep him in that prone control?
“Because if they were to get up and run, handcuffed, trip and fall, sustain facial injuries, other injuries. On the ground, their mobility is reduced, their ability to move is reduced, and their ability to hurt themselves is reduced,” Brodd replied.
“What if they became sick for example?,” Nelson asked.
Brodd answers, “Prone control, instead of having somebody lying on their back where they could aspirate on vomit, prone control, their face is down, airway is clear. If they vomit, it’s not going to go down their trachea or their throat.”
SAFER FOR THE OFFICERS & SUSPECT IN PRONE CONTROL: National police use of force expert Barry Brodd on why #Mpls police were justified keeping #GeorgeFloyd face down, handcuffed outside Cup Foods. #DerekChauvinTrial pic.twitter.com/lwxjSPjhHZ
— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) April 13, 2021