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Use-of-Force Expert Testifies That Derek Chauvin’s Actions Were ‘Justified’

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An expert witness testified Tuesday that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was “justified” in his dealings with George Floyd last May.

Chauvin faces two counts of murder and one of manslaughter in connection with the death of Floyd. After detaining Floyd on suspicion of passing counterfeit money, Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes. Floyd later died.

During testimony for the defense on Tuesday, Barry Brodd, a former police officer who is now a consultant and a use-of-force expert, backed up Chauvin’s actions.

“I felt that Derek Chauvin was justified, was acting with objective reasonableness, following Minneapolis Police Department policy and current standards of law enforcement in his interactions with Mr. Floyd,” he said in a video of his comments posted to Twitter.

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“It’s easy to sit and judge in an office on an officer’s conduct,” he said.

“It’s more of a challenge to, again, put yourself in the officer’s shoes to try to make an evaluation on what they’re feeling, what they’re sensing, the fear they have, and then make a determination.”

In earlier testimony, Brodd explained how he came to his conclusion.

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“I pretty much focused my review on the videos, the snapshots of the body-worn cameras that the officers were wearing, miscellaneous statements, the use of force policies, and training records,” he said, according to CNN.

Brodd supported Chauvin’s use of what he called the “prone control” position.

“If the officer is justified in using the prone control, the maintaining of the prone control is not a use of force. It’s a control technique,” he said, according to NPR.

“It doesn’t hurt,” he said.

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Officers need to always remain a step ahead of possible responses by an individual they are seeking to control, Brodd added, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

“They’re allowed to overcome your resistance by going up a level to gain control,” he said.

“In this situation there were space limitations, Mr. Floyd was butted up against a patrol car, there was traffic still driving down the street, there were crowd issues that took the attention of the officers and Mr. Floyd was still somewhat resisting, so I think those were all valid reasons to keep him in the prone,” he said.

“At one point [Chauvin] felt threatened enough to pull out his pepper spray, shouting commands to move back,” Brodd said, according to NPR.

Brodd said significant resistance can take place regardless of the nature of a crime for which an individual is being detained.

“I can’t imagine how many times I’ve been exposed to personally or seen other officers dealing with a traffic stop or jaywalking or some minor offense and they end up in a fight for their life because of the conduct of the individual,” he said, the Star-Tribune reported.

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