In his first call with his supervisor after the deadly arrest of Floyd, Chauvin did not mention that he held his knee on Floyd’s neck, former Minneapolis police sergeant David Pleoger testified.
Pleoger, the precinct’s supervisor before he retired, said in court Thursday that he called Chauvin after a 911 dispatcher reached out with worries.
“She called to say she didn’t mean to be a snitch, but she’d seen something while viewing a camera that she thought was concerning,” Pleoger said.
In a body-camera video taken by Chauvin, he can be heard answering Pleoger’s call, telling his supervisor that the officers “had” to hold Floyd down because he was not going into the police car.
“He was going crazy,” Chauvin claimed to his supervisor.
Pleoger testified that he told Chauvin to turn off his camera for the conversation and that the call continued, with Chauvin saying Floyd was “combative.” Pleoger then went to the scene to investigate.
Pleoger said that putting pressure on a suspect’s neck is not necessarily a use of force if an officer briefly takes that position when arresting someone. But he said that once the suspect is under control — in handcuffs or not fighting — the restraint is not necessary. Witness video captured Chauvin’s restraint of Floyd’s neck while Floyd was motionless.
The 911 dispatcher called Pleoger, telling him that the officers got something out of a patrol car “and all of them sat on this man,” according to audio of the call played in court.
The dispatcher asked whether officers alerted him to the use of force.
“I’ll find out,” he responded.
Pleoger said he was not aware of the force placed on Floyd’s neck until a later conversation with Chauvin, after Floyd was taken to the hospital. Pleoger testified that Chauvin said “he knelt on Floyd or knelt on his neck, something of that nature.” Chauvin did not say how long he had applied that pressure, Pleoger said.
After learning that Floyd had died, Pleoger said, he told Chauvin to “get down to 108,” a room in city hall where officers would gather after a “critical incident.”