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Derek Chauvin Trial, April 13: Defense Calls Witnesses, Including Use-Of-Force Expert

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Six people testified in the Derek Chauvin trial on Tuesday, including use-of-force expert Barry Brodd, who said Chauvin was justified in using the force he did against George Floyd (2:45) WCCO 4 News At 5 - April 13, 2021

Video Transcript

- The prosecution rested in the trial of Derek Chauvin after calling 38 witnesses over 11 days.

- The defense called their first witnesses today. Six people testified, including a use-of-force expert. He says Derek Chauvin was justified in using the force that he did against George Floyd. The defense also focused on a May 2019 arrest of George Floyd that you're looking at now that was captured on police body cameras. We have team coverage of the trial, beginning with Esme Murphy, who was live outside the courthouse. Esme.

ESME MURPHY: Hi there, Frank. Well, the defense is using that 2019 arrest to bolster their arguments that George Floyd also consumed drugs during the fatal 2020 encounter and that it was those drugs and his weakened heart that killed him.

- Put him on the dash. I'm not going to shoot you. Put your hands on the dash.

GEORGE FLOYD: OK, OK, OK, OK, OK.

- Put your hands on the dash. Last time I'm going to tell you that.

ESME MURPHY: Both sides have conceded that the May 2019 arrest of George Floyd bears similarities to the fatal encounter a year later. Police can be heard demanding that Floyd spit out pills.

- Spit out what you got! I'm going to tase you.

ESME MURPHY: Floyd told the paramedic in May 2009 he was addicted.

- And he told me that he swallowed some pills, right?

MICHELLE MOSENG: Yes.

- Approximately seven Percocet, correct?

MICHELLE MOSENG: Documented, yeah, seven to nine every 20 minutes or so.

ESME MURPHY: The paramedic testified Floyd's blood pressure was dangerously high, and he was sent to the hospital for observation. The defense has argued that Floyd died from a drug overdose and his underlying heart conditions. But [INAUDIBLE] Hill, Floyd's friend, who ran into him at [INAUDIBLE] Foods on May 25, 2020, testified he seemed fine that evening.

- Did he seem abnormal to you in any way?

- Not at all.

ESME MURPHY: The defense also has argued that Chauvin was threatened and distracted by bystanders. On the stand today, Minneapolis Park Police officer Peter Chang, who said he felt threatened when he was at the scene.

PETER CHANG: I was concerned for the officer's safety because of the crowd, so I just wanted to ensure that officers were OK.

ESME MURPHY: And in a rebuttal to prosecution experts on the use of force, the defense brought in their own expert to testify in support of Officer Chauvin.

BARRY BRODD: I felt that Derek Chauvin was justified with acting with objective reasonableness following Minneapolis Police Department policy and current standards of law enforcement.

ESME MURPHY: And of course, the prosecution, though, didn't just have experts. They had half a dozen Minneapolis police officers, including the police chief, who all testified against Eric Chauvin, saying his use of force was not reasonable and was excessive.

- Esme, thank you.