Derek Chauvin’s defense called its first witnesses Tuesday, pitting its own use-of-force expert against a parade of officials and experts called by the prosecution who have said Chauvin acted unreasonably when he knelt on George Floyd’s neck.

Barry Brodd, of Bozeman, Mont., testified that the ex-Minneapolis police officer was “justified” in his use of force last May and acted “with objective reasonableness.” But he acknowledged under cross-examination that the former officer kept his knee in place while Floyd was complying.

Tuesday capped nearly two weeks of testimony presented by the prosecution. Judge Peter Cahill has said that the defense will probably wrap up this week, with both sides expected to give their closing arguments Monday.

Here’s what you need to know:
  • The trial continued as a Minnesota officer and police chief resigned after fresh outrage over the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.
  • Minneapolis Park Police officer Peter Chang, whose body-cam footage was showed for the first time Tuesday, said he did not hear police call Floyd’s detainment a life-threatening situation.
  • Shawanda Hill, the woman who was with Floyd in his car moments before his death in May, said the 46-year-old was “very” startled when police initially held him at gunpoint.
  • The jury watched a short video clip from a 2019 traffic stop in which Floyd asked a Minneapolis police officer not to shoot him.
12:13 a.m.
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Use-of-force experts clash in murder trial

One of the major questions at the heart of the Chauvin trial: Was the use of force exerted by the former police officer reasonable?

The answers to that query are far-ranging. On Tuesday, Barry Brodd, a former police officer and use-of-force expert called by the defense, testified that putting Floyd in a prone position on the ground was justified and not necessarily a deadly use of force, contradicting numerous witnesses called by the prosecution, including other use-of-force experts.

One of those witnesses, Seth Stoughton, a law professor, former police officer and paid expert for the prosecution, argued Monday that Chauvin should have identified that the force could have led to Floyd’s medical distress.

“No reasonable officer would have believed that that was an appropriate, acceptable or reasonable use of force,” Stoughton testified.

The differing opinions are partly due to the various factors experts weigh when determining whether the use of force is justified, according to police trainer and former detective Kevin R. Davis.

“These things have to be judged on the totality of the circumstances,” Davis told The Post in an interview Tuesday.

One of those determinations is the “foreseeable effects” of the use of force, including how it could affect the health of the person police are handling.

“The problem is, we’re not medical doctors,” Davis said.

Still, Davis said, suspects have been placed in the prone position every day throughout the country and survived.

Davis disputed that the prone position, used to handcuff a subject, is a use of force. He also said “positional asphyxia,” or the lack of oxygen a person can take in when restrained, has been debunked, pointing to research by California doctors that indicated other risk factors like “acute alcohol intoxication” are at play.

Prosecutors contend Floyd’s death was caused by Chauvin’s knee on his neck, causing him to gasp for breath. But the defense has argued that Chauvin did what he was trained to do, blaming Floyd’s drug use and other preexisting conditions.

9:14 p.m.
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Defense expert witness admits Floyd was complying while Chauvin restrained him

Barry Brodd, the use-of-force expert for the defense, acknowledged during cross-examination that Floyd was no longer resisting and was complying with police while Chauvin’s knee remained on his neck.

Brodd, a former police officer and law enforcement consultant, affirmed after questioning by prosecutor Steve Schleicher that a “reasonable police officer” in Chauvin’s position, on top of Floyd, would know that Floyd was not resisting. He agreed an officer’s use of force must be reasonable from start to finish.

Schleicher also noted comments on Floyd’s condition from other officers and bystanders — for instance, a colleague saying at one point that Floyd did not have a pulse.

“All of this would have been known to a reasonable officer in the defendant’s position, correct?”

Yes, Brodd said.

Earlier in the cross-examination, Brodd testified that a “perfectly compliant” suspect would have been “resting comfortably” on the pavement during an arrest.

Schleicher questioned that phrasing, to which Brodd clarified: “I was describing what the signs of a perfectly compliant person would be.”

“So attempting to breathe while restrained is being slightly noncompliant?” Schleicher asked.

No, Brodd said.

Taking over questioning again, Nelson suggested the use of short video clips by the prosecution to ask Brodd about Chauvin’s actions gave an incomplete picture.

8:04 p.m.
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Under cross-examination, defense expert witness acknowledges Chauvin’s knee hold ‘could’ be considered use of force

After previously saying he didn’t believe Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck was a use of force, Barry Brodd, a paid expert for the defense, appeared to contradict that assertion, saying during cross-examination that the position “could” have caused Floyd pain and be considered a use of force.

Shown the infamous photo of the moment, Brodd clashed with Steve Schleicher, the prosecutor, about whether Chauvin was “on top” of Floyd but later said that he was and that the position could cause pain, which he considered a factor in determining whether the action was a use of force.

“In this picture, that could be a use of force,” Brodd said.

Later, the prosecution asked Brodd about when “control” producing pain is appropriate: “If someone is not resisting and they’re compliant, the use of something — control, as you put it — that could produce pain is just not justified, is it?”

“No,” Brodd responded.

Schleicher attempted to dismantle Brodd’s testimony that Chauvin acted reasonably, asking him whether a reasonable officer should conform to police department policy and have “situational awareness.” Brodd agreed to both. The prosecution’s witnesses, including the Minneapolis police chief and a trainer for the police department, testified earlier that the restraint did not comply with the agency’s use-of-force policy.

After Brodd testified that Chauvin probably “felt threatened” by the bystanders gathering at the scene, Schleicher asked whether an external threat could be a justification for using force against another person.

“Let’s say that you’re distracted by something Mr. Nelson is doing,” Schleicher said, referring to the defense attorney. “Let’s say maybe he’s even threatening you. That’s not a justification for you to use force against me, is it?”

“No,” Brodd said.

7:13 p.m.
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Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck was not use of deadly force, policing expert testifies

Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck should not be considered use of deadly force, a use-of-force expert called by the defense testified.

Brodd said he used an analytical framework that considers what a “reasonable officer” would do in a similar set of circumstances. He said he surveyed whether there was justification for Floyd’s detention; whether Floyd was resisting and, if so, how much; and what Chauvin did to overcome that resistance.

As an example, Brodd compared the situation to one in which an officer uses a Taser on someone who is fighting with them. The person then falls to the ground, hits their head and dies. That incident would not be considered use of deadly force, but rather an accidental death, Brodd said.

Brodd said the force that the Minneapolis officers used to try to force Floyd into a police car was “objectively reasonable.”

“It’s easy to sit and judge, in an office, on an officer’s conduct,” Brodd said. “It’s more of a challenge to, again, put yourself in an officer’s shoes.”

7:07 p.m.
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Brodd says Floyd saying ‘I can’t breathe’ was evidence that he was breathing

Brodd testified Tuesday that he thought Floyd could breathe when he said, “I can’t breathe,” adding that the suggestion that he couldn’t breathe is “a common misunderstanding in the policing community.”

Brodd, a use-of-force expert from Bozeman, Mont., and a paid witness by the defense, said his training has taught him that it’s “a reasonable assumption” that someone can breathe if they are talking, even if they say they can’t breathe.

If somebody’s saying they can’t breathe, and it appears to me they’re taking full breaths and they’re shouting, [then] to me, the layperson, they can breathe,” Brodd testified.

At multiple points during his testimony, Brodd described Chauvin’s use of force against Floyd as “objectively reasonable.”

6:37 p.m.
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Chauvin was justified in his actions against Floyd, defense’s use-of-force expert testifies

Barry Brodd, use-of-force expert for Derek Chauvin's defense, testified on April 13 that the former officer's use of force against George Floyd was "justified." (The Washington Post)

The use-of-force expert called by the defense testified Tuesday that he found Chauvin justified in using force against Floyd.

Barry Brodd, of Bozeman, Mont., offered Nelson an overview of his findings after reviewing the case.

“I felt that Derek Chauvin was justified and was acting with objective reasonableness following Minneapolis Police Department policy and current standards of law enforcement in his interactions with Mr. Floyd,” said Brodd, who is a paid witness.

Throughout the case, the defense has argued that Chauvin was justified in his actions. It’s the first time a use-of-force expert has testified that Chauvin was justified in kneeling on Floyd’s neck.

Brodd said he has previously been an expert witness in similar cases, including the trial of Jason Van Dyke, the former Chicago police officer who was convicted in the 2018 death of Laquan McDonald.

5:15 p.m.
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It is ‘absolutely’ not officers’ job to diagnose excited delirium, police EMT says

During cross-examination Tuesday, the medical support coordinator for the Minneapolis Police Department reaffirmed that it’s not the duty of an officer to diagnose someone with excited delirium.

Officer Nicole Mackenzie, who returned to the stand after initially testifying April 6, was again questioned by Nelson about excited delirium, a physical and psychiatric state in which someone could show a high heart rate, increased strength, garbled speech and other symptoms. The defense has repeatedly asked witnesses about the condition and the training surrounding it.

But the prosecution sought to undercut Nelson’s line of questioning on the topic before the lunch break.

Would you defer to an emergency room doctor on whether someone is actually experiencing excited delirium?” the prosecution asked Mackenzie.

“Absolutely,” she responded. “It’s not our place to diagnose that.”

4:38 p.m.
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Officer Chang says he did not hear other officers calling Floyd detainment a life-threatening situation

Minneapolis Park Police Officer Peter Chang testified Tuesday that he did not recall hearing officers call for the scene outside Cup Foods as a “Code 3,” meaning a life-threatening situation.

The question during cross-examination came after the officer’s body-cam footage was played for the first time, showing his vantage point across the street from Cup Foods on May 25.

When Chang confirmed that there was later a call for a “Code 3” by paramedics who responded to Floyd, he was then asked by prosecutors as to whether Chauvin and the other responding officers made a similar call.

“But there was never a call for a ‘Code 3’ for the responding officers?” the prosecution asked.

“I don’t believe so,” Chang replied.

Chang also acknowledged that Floyd was “pretty peaceful” when he saw him on the sidewalk.

4:30 p.m.
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Officer tells Floyd’s acquaintances that Floyd ‘might have hurt himself,’ body-camera video shows

As Officer Peter Chang talked with two acquaintances of Floyd on a sidewalk, the officer said his colleagues were calling an ambulance for Floyd, who “might have hurt himself.”

Body-camera footage played for the jury shows Chang standing near Shawanda Renee Hill and Morries Hall across the street from Cup Foods. When Chang says that Floyd might be injured, Hill replies, “They hurt him?!"

“He might have hurt himself,” Chang responds. “Who knows?”

Hill, who testified earlier Tuesday, asks to “see what y’all did to him.” A few moments later, she yells to the officers across the street to ask why Floyd is going to the hospital.

“Shawanda, you’re not helping,” Chang tells her.

Charles McMillian, a witness who testified earlier in the trial, later walks over and says that Floyd is “[messed] up.”

4:06 p.m.
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Officer’s body-cam footage shows Hill saying Floyd was ‘going to jail’ when approached by police

A Minneapolis police officer who responded to Cup Foods when Floyd was initially questioned testified Tuesday that the crowd outside the store was “very aggressive” toward officers.

Officer Peter Chang told Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, that his body-cam footage accurately reflected his perspective May 25. Earlier in the day, Cahill ruled that all but 30 seconds of Chang’s body-cam footage would be admissible to the court.

In the footage played to the jury, Chang arrived when Floyd was handcuffed and being questioned by police across the street from Cup Foods.

At one point in the footage, Hill, whose testimony preceded Chang’s, could be heard saying that Floyd was “going to jail” as Chauvin and officers were engaging him outside the store.

As the situation escalated, Chang told Nelson that the crowd grew heated toward police, and that he became concerned for his colleagues.

“I was concerned for the officers’ safety, too,” Chang testified.

3:53 p.m.
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Floyd exhibited ‘normal’ behavior in Cup Foods before abruptly falling asleep in car, passenger testifies

Floyd was exhibiting “normal, talking, alert” behavior inside Cup Foods before he abruptly fell asleep in the car, a passenger in the vehicle testified.

Defense witness Shawanda Renee Hill said she ran into Floyd in the store and he offered to drive her home. They sat in the car, talking and hugging for about eight minutes, before Hill got a phone call from her daughter, she testified.

Floyd fell asleep at some point before Cup Foods employees approached the car, and Hill tried to wake him up, she said. Floyd briefly woke up but quickly fell back asleep, Hill testified.

“He already told me in the store he was tired because he had been working,” she said.

Police later aroused Floyd, Hill said.

On cross-examination, Hill said Floyd grabbed the steering wheel when he saw that an officer was holding a gun to the car window.

“And he was like, ‘Please, please don’t kill me. Please, please don’t shoot me. Don’t shoot me. What did I do? Just tell me what I did,’” Hill testified.

3:40 p.m.
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Woman who was with Floyd moments before death said he was ‘very’ startled when police held him at gunpoint

The woman who was with Floyd in his car moments before his death in May testified Tuesday that the 46-year-old was “very” startled when police initially held him at gunpoint.

Shawanda Renee Hill recounted that Floyd, who she said was happy and normal inside Cup Foods on May 25, had abruptly fallen asleep before Cup Foods employees and police approached the car.

She said that he exhibited no abnormal behavior in the minutes before Chauvin and other officers detained him. During cross-examination, the prosecution asked Hill whether Floyd was surprised when police initially pointed a gun at him.

“Did he seem startled when the officer pulled a gun on him?” prosecutors asked.

“Very,” she responded.

The other passenger in the car, Morries Hall, who is in police custody on a separate charge, has pleaded the Fifth Amendment and indicated that he would not answer questions if called to the stand.

3:15 p.m.
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Floyd’s blood pressure in 2019 incident a focus for paramedic who treated him

At the start of her testimony Tuesday, a paramedic who treated Floyd after a 2019 incident was questioned by the defense about the man’s high blood pressure at the time.

Michelle Moseng treated Floyd when he was taken to a hospital after he admitted to swallowing several opioids in 2019. Paramedics who arrived at the scene two years ago indicated that his blood pressure — 216 over 160 — was at such a high level that they were concerned he would suffer a heart attack.

“Initially, he denied medical issues, but then when I discovered his blood pressure, I specifically asked again and he said, yes, he had a history of hypertension and had not been taking his medication,” Moseng said.

During cross-examination, Moseng agreed with prosecutors that there were no indications of a stroke or signs that he would stop breathing in 2019.

3:03 p.m.
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‘I don’t want to be shot,’ Floyd says in 2019 video shown to jury

As Chauvin’s defense began Tuesday, the jury watched a short video clip from a 2019 traffic stop in which Floyd asked a Minneapolis police officer not to shoot him.

Officer Scott Creighton, now retired, testified that on May 6, 2019, he pulled over a red Ford Explorer in which Floyd was a passenger. Creighton said Floyd was “unresponsive and noncompliant” to his commands and that Creighton had to reach into the car to put Floyd’s hands on the dashboard.

In body-camera video from the encounter, Creighton directs Floyd to unbuckle his seat belt.

“Please, I don’t want to be shot,” Floyd responds.

“I don’t plan on shooting you,” Creighton says. “I’m just saying, just take your time.”

While Creighton repeatedly yells at Floyd to put his hands on the dashboard, Creighton’s service weapon enters the camera frame. Several officers then pull Floyd out of the car and handcuff him.