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tv   News  Al Jazeera  April 2, 2021 7:00pm-7:31pm +03

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so you can. join breaking news. and when you leave with a smile we know. welcome to. day 5 of the trial for the murder of george floyd prosecutors are discussing police procedure surrounding the use of force. on come on sun summer here in doha with that story and the rest of the world news on al jazeera taiwan's worst crash in decades rescuers pulling survivors from a train disaster that's killed dozens of people all parties involved in the 2015
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iran nuclear deal will meet next week in vienna to discuss how to fully revive the agreement and the president inaugurated in a peaceful transition of power just 2 days after an attempted coup. a little after 11 am in minneapolis and the united states where we've been watching day 5 of derek show the trial for the murder of george floyd in this past well hour and a half we've heard from the man who runs the city's homicide department lieutenant richard zimmerman veteran officer of 30 years who gave the most damaging testimony against derrick chauvin of course the former officer who is charged with george floyd's murder have a listen to this. in all the years you've been working for the minneapolis police department. been trained to kneel on the neck of someone who is
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handcuffed behind their back proposition no i haven't. is that if that were done would that be considered force absolutely what level of force might that be. that would be the top tier the deadly force why because of. the fact that. if you need is on a person's neck that can kill a. person as a coughed. you need to turn them on their side or have them set up. you need to get them off their chest wife because of. as i mentioned earlier your muscles are pulling back when your hand cuffed and if you're laying on your chest that's constricting your breathing even more. gabriel elizondo our correspondent covering today's events in minneapolis i'll read it again i'm sorry i've done this before
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but i will again if your name is on a person's net it can kill them that seems to be the most obvious thing that we have heard in the past 5 days and yet i almost didn't see it coming there it really hit you when he said that. it does i mean whenever you see that video of chauvinist need on george floyd's neck you think you have that could kill a man right that could kill somebody so it's sort of obvious in a way or come all but when you hear it from this lieutenant who's a homicide detective who works or worked i should say alongside derek show and in the same police department it really hits home because this is damaging testimony for the defense because it's basically one of the top officials in the police department basically saying what this officer did what my colleague did yes it can kill a man and yes it did kill
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a man it seems like so i mean this is just this damaging testimony on so many different levels one of the more powerful moments of this trial in a trial that's moved from the very emotional stages monday tuesday wednesday from eyewitnesses now to essentially police officers testing up by against other another police officer and that directly contravenes their training as well that was what i noticed a marine lieutenant zimmerman was saying from 30 years experience that this is what we are not trying to do or we're trying not to do that. yeah that's right that was they're doing that because they're calling this directly to the to the jury because it's all seen the video right and willing to. back in session and fact and it is lieutenant rich and zimmerman resuming his testimony and they had been county courthouse in minneapolis. of that incident yes and you recall at that
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video. where you saw yes and wasn't the khandahar turned off frazier video yes did you watch that video in its entirety yes and. and since then have you had an opportunity to watch other video of the incident. and specifically have you watched body worn camera video of the incident from the involved officers. and based on that and your years of training and experience with the minneapolis police department. you saw officer that officer show even with his new young mr ford's not correct would you call what you saw there a use of force. and did the use of force continue until the ambulance arrived yes or was there any change in the level of force being
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used until the ambulance arrived. and what do you think about that use of force during that time period. or what do you think about that use of force during that time period. there will be could you. limit it to the time frame right ok so. based on your review of the body one camera videos of the incident. and directing your attention into that moment when mr floyd is placed on the ground. what is your. you know your view of that use of force during that time totally unnecessary what do you mean. well 1st of all. pulling him down to the grown face down in putting your knee on the neck for that amount of
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that amount of time. is just. uncalled for. i saw no reason why the officers felt they were in danger if they it's what they felt. and that's what they would have to feel to be able use that kind of force. so in your opinion should that restraint have stopped once he was handcuffed and prone on the ground. absolutely and i should add to that question then also that appeared he had stopped resist observe and it appeared that he had stopped putting up any resistance. i would stop. at nothing for. israel.
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and i just have a moment. good morning lieutenant zimmerman good morning thank you for being here today for your gov. so you testified that you have been a minneapolis police officer since june 5th 1905 correct 1985 years prior to that you're with another agency. and when you initially came on to the minneapolis police department you were a patrol officer yes you were a patrol officer from 1905 to approximately 1993 when you took the sergeant's exam and work or more years and so it's fair to say that since 1993 so 2028 years
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you've not been on patrol in the city of minneapolis curb your assignments have been investigative in nature cracked and generally speaking in investigative role is more of a follow up type role right. so an incident occurs on the street. it gets assigned to a detective and then your job is to investigate. the circumstances of that incident. and so it's fair to say that since 1993 you've not other than perhaps for ceremonial reasons you've not worn a uniform on a daily basis. to wear a uniform you have to wear uniform from time to time but your daily role is as as a plain clothes clothes police officer yes and you're not out
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patrolling the streets making arrests things of that nature. and it's fair to say then that your experience with the use of force of late has been primarily through training. through your training are meaning. you're not actively other than perhaps arresting a homicide suspect you're not our actively patrolling and arresting people for less or less serious offenses. no. and so. you describe the use of force continuum as including mere presence being a type of the use of force right and so when you arrive on scene as a lieutenant in the homicide unit that is a use of force. if people know i'm
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a lieutenant or if they know you're a police officer. and then use described like soft techniques like hold things of that nature. and i'm assuming that in the last well since 1903 and you were promoted to sergeant you've handcuffed some people in that time frame. right when's the last time you got enough physical fight with a person. in 2018 ok so it's been a couple of years since you've been in a physical fight with a person. and so you would agree that the use of force as an investigator is. the higher levels of force as an investigator is less likely than a patrol officer. i'm sure understand your question.
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rephrase the frequency with which you have to use higher levels of force as an investigator doesn't happen all that often. and so your experience generally as a use of force or involving the use of force is primarily in this annual what's called defensive tactics training. and the defensive tactics training is one of the requirements you need to use or to complete in order to maintain your license as a police officer. and you would agree that. i'm presuming that since 1985 and the present day. tactics have changed as a police officer. change and it's fair to say that you are not a trainer in the minneapolis police academy relevant to the use of force correct
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or you do not teach other police officers defensive tactics. your. you would agree however that roughly 10 years ago the minneapolis police department kind of moved away from trying to hit people to control them and started using body weight to try to control people. would agree with that ok so you think that i mean within the within the arsenal so to speak of a police officer. it's as common to punch or strike someone in the use of force as it is to just use what are called takedown moves or body weight. and that's been throughout your entirety of your career. ok and so. and you're basing that again on your experience as just going through the defensive tactics
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requirements are. and again as a lieutenant and the number one senior officer in the minneapolis police department . i'm presuming that your understanding of the use of force involves. the minneapolis police department policies on the use of force. and the minneapolis police department policies are designed at least based on your understanding to address the legal requirements for the use of force. and so there are factors correct to determine whether or not a use of force is proportional reasonable things of that nature. and the and what we look at in any particular case is the totality of the circumstances agreed so there's lots of different information that
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a police officer has to use in order to determine the level of force to be used under which. circumstances agreed. now in terms of. the minneapolis police department are you familiar with the minneapolis police department. critical thinking. or critical decision making model. and you would agree i'm assuming again based on a long career that an officer is constantly taking in new information and that information will affect the decisions he or she makes right. and would you also agree that the training that you received an initially as a police officer is probably a lot different than the are the academy not. yours.
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obviously the the available tools that officers have are a lot different today than they were in the you know 859095 body cameras they didn't exist when you 1st became a police officer or tasers were not a thing of. if you carried a gun in some handcuffs. old school coffee right. now in terms of the decision making. the decision making of a police officer. would you agree that there are certain pieces of information that that officer has that effect his or her decisions on the use of force. and some of those some of that information is very immediate kind of low level information agreed. so for example what just happened with this
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particular suspect right. is this suspect under the influence of a controlled substance or is he so are you as. what are you looking at in that moment through your own eyes you know that's the officers experience in any situation. you look at other things that may be hazards or threats in the immediate vicinity correct yes so you're going to assess are there people watching are there people videotaping are those people happy or angry at such or yes. you're going to look at. what we would refer to as security. you have a responsibility as a police officer for your partners who may be close to you yes you have a responsibility as a police officer for all of the people in the immediate area yes and so scene security is kind of trying to keep it as tight as possible and keep everybody in
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the area safe agreed the. interviewer asked a series of questions about your. own officers medical responsibilities. you said you were asked a series of questions about your medical training and officers medical were. what they're supposed to do. and even in the assessment of a medical emergency there are many factors that come into that assessment correct. to your knowledge minneapolis police officers are sort of are they're trained medically at a fairly low level they're not paramedics doctors at such or the or you're a 1st responder yes basically you're taught how to apply turn. patches for gunshot stop bleeding basic c.p.r.
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and resuscitative efforts are of police officers job primarily is to keep the scene safe or greet. a police officer is responsibility is to keep the scene secure and safe agreed yes. minneapolis police policy requires the. involvement of a higher level of medical intervention if the circumstances dictate correct and an officer is required if someone is having a medical emergency to take what steps are they're able to reasonably in the moment . and that would include potentially calling e.m.'s the. but then so you've got all of these a media factors that come into play but then you can kind of widen that lens a little bit and you can there are some other factors that come into play in terms
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of the use of force again based on your training and experience. such as what do we know about the location generally. is this a field in the middle of the woods or is this a higher crime area. an officer is evaluating that as a process as a part of the process involving the use of force agreed you know as. you look at other things such as. tactical advantages or disadvantages or grid. so if you are if you are not able to get what's called concealment or cover that becomes a question. in a use of force here your examining the surrounding area to see if something happens can i conceal uncover right yes. you also in
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addition to the scene security you need to deal with securing the scene which is different than scene security agreed. scene security is maintaining the safety of everyone around including yourself in your partner's right yes securing the scene is making sure that the scene itself is preserved and kept tight. and in fact of police officers responsibility and part of the use of of force to terminations is to prevent or avoid the use of force against other people agreed yes of fluid so if you have to use force against one person to avoid using force against others that's a factor that an officer should consider agreed. a don't know if it would agree with ok. again within the training department most
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people who are it's their jobs to do that they may be better and they answer those questions yes. and then even from there you can widen the lens even further and an officer will look at his training right what he is trained to do or not to do. he will look and take into experience or she or she will take into account his or her own experience. from their past career are great so things life. fighting with someone and what's the probability or possibility that that person is going to continue fighting with you in the future even after you have them subdued. a. don't know a grade of the total a but they're what you say there are circumstances where after
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a person is rendered unconscious and then you perform or you you revive that person that they are more combative than they were initially. and again in terms of your own past experience and officers on past experiences there can taking that into consideration as well. now you testified that you were never you have never been trained as a minneapolis police officer to use a knee on the neck of a suspect. you would agree however that in a fight for your life generally speaking in a fight for your life you as an officer are allowed to use whatever force is reasonable and necessary correct. and that can even involve improvisation agreed. yes minneapolis police department policy allows
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a police officer to use whatever means are not available to him to protect himself and others. so if there's a paint can sitting on the table and someone is attacked you can use that paint and as a weapon. and in fact. you have been trained in the prone handcuffing techniques correct yes and it's your testimony that minneapolis police department has never ever trained anyone to put their knee across the shoulder and to the base of the knack. ok so you would agree then that pursuant to minneapolis police department training when they suspect is arrested them and in the process of being handcuffed or being restrained it would be consistent with the minneapolis police department training you've received to place your knee across the shoulder to the base of the neck.
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i don't know. part of your question was handcuffed and we've certainly been trained to put the knee on the shoulder but i don't know about just restraining a person a recall being trained in that ok again possible based on the circumstance sure and when an officer is restraining a person and has called for mass. have you heard the term that we're holding this person for e.m.'s. and essentially that means you want to keep him in that position until e.m.'s arrives because they're more capable than deal with whatever the situation is agreed. to would agree with that ok how would you describe the term hold for e.m.'s over measures that you're holding him for him or her. and sometimes people are held for a mass in
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a restrained position agreed. now you also testified that once a person is handcuffed the threat i think you said is gone it's at the lowest level . of her now that obviously. a person who is handcuffed can still pose a threat. i suppose they could so an officer who is even though he has someone handcuffed that person could continue to kick the officer. pose that are that person could continue to for ashes body around or read. and part of the reason police officers restrain people is for that person's own safety.
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now it also presumes that the handcuffs were placed on correctly. sometimes in the in a struggle or an attempt to handcuff someone and cuffs are placed on properly and they can pop open or be too big for a suspect right. yeah. overseas. too big. you know personal or 2 to it. but if sometimes in the in the process of handcuffing someone one handcuff goes on thereby giving the suspect a potential weapon if he were to break free or she. and officers have been attacked with their own handcuffs and your experience right. so you would be free that the use of force is a dying is
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a dynamic. series of decision making based on a lot of different information. and it's based upon a lot of information that is not necessarily capture on a body. or the body camera is only so effective to show what the body camera sees and not what the officers. are. now in terms of what you did in this particular case sensually you would be what's called is there you would call 21. is that the homicide unit and i mean no car no
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i'm i don't know they're just homicide there's some car associated with homicide right you know what car is that we would be. would be a. one to one over what oil. ok are so you got called you were made aware of this incident back on may 25th of 2020 you understood it to be a critical incident correct yes and it is minneapolis police department policy to turn over the investigation of any critical incident or the majority of critical incidents we should say to the bureau of criminal apprehension yes and that is to avoid any potential conflicts between the involved officers. yes. and so your role you heard this call came out and you kind of self assigned to show up here. and you did that because you wanted to make sure the
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scene was secure yes to make sure that the officers who have responded to the scene were doing the things that they should be doing in connection with a critical incident those are such as roping off or tying off the off the tape or taping off seem right putting up courage yes yes not permitting citizens to come wandering through the scene. canvassing the area i think you said and ultimately your role in this particular case was limited to a couple of hours of time making sure those things were done and until. b.-c. agents arrived and you handed off to see if you have such good and it was it was not until later that you were asked to review the body were.


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