Derek Chauvin told a supervisor that George Floyd “went mad” before the police pinned him to the ground, and only later indicated that he put pressure on Mr. Floyd’s neck, according to de new body camera footage and testimony in court on Thursday. .
Supervisor, retired Sgt. David Pleoger, said he spoke with Mr. Chauvin moments after Mr. Floyd was taken in an ambulance and Mr. Chauvin did not mention the strain on Mr. Floyd’s neck in that conversation . Sergeant Pleoger also said he believed the police should have stopped restraining Mr Floyd once he became unresponsive.
“When Mr. Floyd no longer offered any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint,” said Sergeant Pleoger. In response to a question from a prosecutor, he agreed that the police should not detain someone who is handcuffed and no longer resisting.
Sergeant Pleoger spoke to Mr. Chauvin by phone after receiving a call from a 911 dispatcher who was concerned about the live surveillance footage of officers restraining Mr. Floyd. Part of the conversation, which took place minutes after Mr. Floyd was taken to hospital, was captured by Mr. Chauvin’s body camera.
“We just had to restrain the guy,” Mr. Chauvin can be heard saying, adding that Mr. Floyd would not stay in the back of a police car. “He was going mad.”
Mr. Chauvin turned off his body camera shortly after the call began. Sergeant Pleoger said this was normal. He recalled Mr. Chauvin saying Mr. Floyd injured his nose or mouth after being aggressive and then suffered a medical emergency.
Body camera footage showed a policeman approached Mr. Floyd with a raised gun and pulled him from the driver’s seat of a car after a convenience store clerk called 911 and said Mr. Floyd used a fake $ 20 bill to buy cigarettes. As officers attempted to get him into the back of a police car, he struggled with them and apparently attempted to push himself out of the backseat. He ended up on the sidewalk outside the car, where officers held him for more than nine minutes.
Sergeant Pleoger attended the scene of the arrest shortly after, and then met Mr. Chauvin at the Hennepin County Medical Center, where Mr. Floyd had been taken. Once there, the police learned that Mr. Floyd was not doing well and Mr. Pleoger asked Mr. Chauvin if he had used additional force.
“He said he knelt on top of Floyd or knelt on his neck, something of that nature,” Sergeant Pleoger said Thursday. In response to a question from a prosecutor, he said it was the first time he learned that Mr. Chauvin may have applied force to Mr. Floyd’s neck.
Sergeant Pleoger was the last witness to be called Thursday, the fourth day of Mr. Chauvin’s murder trial. The testimony will resume on Friday morning.