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Veteran Police Officers Testify At Derek Chauvin Trial

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The most senior member of the Minneapolis Police Department took the stand. CBS2's Alice Gainer reports.

Video Transcript

- Day five in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, charged in the death of George Floyd.

- Two veteran police officers took the stand today, including the most senior member of the department. CBS 2's Alice Gainer has the details.

ALICE GAINER: On the stand, Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman called the use of force on George Floyd--

LT. RICHARD ZIMMERMAN: Totally unnecessary.

ALICE GAINER: The head of homicide for the Minneapolis Police Department testified that he'd never been trained to kneel on the neck of someone handcuffed behind their back in a prone position.

LT. RICHARD ZIMMERMAN: That would be the top tier, the deadly force.

PROSECUTOR: Why?

LT. RICHARD ZIMMERMAN: If your knee is on a person's neck, that can kill him.

ALICE GAINER: 14-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police force John Curtis Edwards also took the stand.

JOHN CURTIS EDWARDS: At that point, I, [INAUDIBLE] very little specifics.

ALICE GAINER: Images from his body-worn camera were shown in court of two other officers charged in Floyd's death at the scene. Edwards testified he was tasked with securing the area and making sure officers' body cams were turned on. When he met those two, their cameras were not on, so he asked them to activate them.

Yesterday the now-retired police sergeant who was on duty before Edwards the night George Floyd died also addressed use of force.

PROSECUTOR: Do you have an opinion as to when the restraint of Mr. Floyd should have ended in this encounter?

DAVID PLEOGER: Yes.

PROSECUTOR: What is it?

DAVID PLEOGER: When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint.

ALICE GAINER: All week, jurors have heard emotional testimony from some who witnessed George Floyd's final moments, in a trial that's moving faster than expected. Yesterday, Floyd's girlfriend of three years also talked about their struggles with opioid addiction.

COURTENEY ROSS: We both suffered from chronic pain. Mine was in my neck and his was in his back. We got addicted, and tried really hard to break that addiction many times.

ALICE GAINER: A big part of the defense's strategy centers on Floyd's addiction, claiming it was largely responsible for his death.

Alice Gainer, CBS 2 News.

- The trial will resume Monday. It is expected to last about four weeks.