Despite being at the centre of a closely watched trial, jurors — and the public at large — haven’t heard much from former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murdering George Floyd last May.
He faces three charges after kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest over a counterfeit $20 bill.
A jury in Minneapolis on Thursday heard a call between Mr Chauvin and a supervisor reviewing the force he had used during the arrest.
“We just had to hold a guy down,” Mr Chauvin tells a sergeant, David Pleoger, who was called to review what happened. “He was going crazy.”
Officers are required to call a supervisor for review if certain types of force are used, such as withdrawing their weapon, handcuffing a suspect, or having to provide medical care — all of which occurred while Mr Floyd was being arrested.
- George Floyd news live: Derek Chauvin trial to resume
- Derek Chauvin trial enters fourth day after jurors shown video of George Floyd’s cries of ‘I can’t breathe’
- Who are the leading prosecution and defence attorneys in Derek Chauvin trial?
- Derek Chauvin: Will he take the stand and what is he charged with?
- Who is Derek Chauvin, the officer charged with murdering George Floyd?
- ‘I thought he was dead’: Paramedic describes responding to George Floyd scene
Rather than officers, a 911 dispatcher named Jena Scurry was the first to call Mr Pleoger onto the scene for a force review, after watching the arrest play out on a city security camera feed.
“My instincts were telling me something is wrong, something is not right. I don’t know what, but something was not right,” she said on Monday. “It was an extended period of time.”
As he drove to the scene of the arrest, Mr Pleoger spoke with Mr Chauvin. The sergeant said in his testimony that Mr Chauvin did not mention the knee on the back of Mr Floyd’s neck until much later, when he and some of the officers at the scene were at the Hennepin County Medical Center checking on Mr Floyd’s medical condition.
Eventually, once the arrest had been deemed a “critical incident,” owing to the severe injuries and potential misconduct that took place, Mr Pleoger handed off review of what happened to his superiors and the Minneapolis Police Department’s internal affairs section. Mr Chauvin was fired shortly afterward.
Other than the call between Mr Chauvin and his superior, the court has heard very little about from the former officer himself. It’s unclear whether he will even take the witness stand.
On Wednesday, however, another small snippet emerged.
After the arrest took place and ambulance rushed Mr Floyd off to the hospital, one of the bystanders who watched the scene walked over to Mr Chauvin’s squad car to talk about how upset he was.
“We gotta control this guy because he’s a sizeable guy. Looks like he’s probably on something,” Mr Chauvin says as he’s explaining his reasoning.
The defence has argued that pre-existing health conditions and drugs in Mr Floyd’s system caused his death, rather than the knee on his neck.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies