Day five of Derek Chauvin’s court proceedings brought testimonies from several key witnesses, most notably being Police Lt. Richard Zimmerman. He is the longest serving police officer in the Minneapolis Police Department. Zimmerman said that Chauvin was in violation of department policy with his actions against Floyd, and stated further that,
“[Chauvin] pulling [Floyd] down to the ground face down and putting [his] knee on [his] neck for that amount of time, it’s just uncalled for.” –New York Times
Despite the accusations of using excessive force, Chauvin’s attorney has continually suggested that his client’s knee was on Floyd’s back or shoulder, not his neck, which is more in line with standard police protocol. During the defense attorney’s cross examination of Lt. Zimmerman, he questioned the veteran officer on whether extraneous circumstances would allow for an officer to improvise in order to keep a violent or uncooperative suspect subdued. He then made the argument that this could be applied to a person regaining consciousness while under the influence of drugs and being restrained by a police officer.
Sergeant Jon Edwards, the officer that secured the crime scene after Floyd’s arrest and death also took to the stands as well. He arrived at the scene at 9:35 the same evening after being notified of a possible “critical incident”, and asked officers who were still there [Thomas Lane and Alex Kueng] to turn on their body cams in order to determine all locations involved in the incident. After securing these locations, Sgt. Edwards and other officers went door-to-door canvassing for witnesses of the event, most of whom had already dispersed or were unwilling to speak. The one witness Sgt. Edwards was able to find was Charles McMillian who already testified in the proceedings earlier this week.
Friday’s proceedings were called early, and will reconvene on Monday, April 5th.