Chauvin Seeks to Block Accusations of Him Using Neck Restraints on Previous Suspects

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The former Minneapolis Police Department officer charged with second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd is asking prosecutors to block alleged evidence of him using neck restraining methods during arrests on previous suspects.

Derek Chauvin was seen on video in late May using a neck restraining method on Floyd for nearly eight minutes while Floyd was on the ground handcuffed and pleading for air.

Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, said in a court filing on Monday obtained by the Washington Post that his client was permitted to use the restraining method on previous suspects during arrests, adding that it was a method cleared by MPD supervisors.

Nelson said Chauvin had been “acquitted by MPD supervisors of applying force in a manner that was either unreasonable or unauthorized.”

“The state attempts to characterize Mr. Chauvin’s use of force as ‘unreasonable’ or ‘beyond what was needed,’” the lawyer said. “And in every single one, it was determined by a supervisor that Mr. Chauvin’s use of force was reasonable in the circumstances and authorized by law and MPD policy.”

Nelson’s court filing came after prosecutors said they were looking to propose eight incidents throughout Chauvin’s career where the former officer allegedly used “excessive force” and behavior similar to the encounter that resulted in the death of Floyd.

Derek Chauvin
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in a booking photograph (L) and Chauvin, when still an officer (R). (Hennepin County Jail; Darnella Frazier via AP)

The prosecutors claimed that in at least four cases, Chauvin restrained suspects “beyond the point when such force was needed.”

In one case, Chauvin is accused of using a similar restraining method on an intoxicated man when responding to a domestic disturbance call.

The call was reported by an unknown caller who witnessed an unidentified man armed with a knife pour gasoline throughout a house.

Chauvin responded to the domestic disturbance call and allegedly “delivered a single kick” at the man followed by a neck restraint, causing the man to lose consciousness, according to The Crime Report.

Prosecutors mentioned the case because Chauvin placed the suspect in a “recovery position” after realizing he had lost consciousness, something he didn’t do with Floyd when he pleaded for air.

Chauvin was released on a $1 million bond in October and faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of second-degree murder.

Three other former officers, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

3 former Minneapolis police
(L-R) Former Minneapolis police officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao, in booking photos. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

In a June report (pdf), Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office found Floyd had a fatal level of fentanyl in his system but listed the man’s cause of death as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” with his manner of death listed as homicide.

Earl Gray, the attorney for former officer Lane, alleged that Floyd had contributed to his own death by consuming a lethal dose of fentanyl.

“All he had to do is sit in the police car, like every other defendant who is initially arrested. While attempting to avoid his arrest, all by himself, Mr. Floyd overdosed on fentanyl,” Gray wrote in a court filing, reported Fox News 9. “Given his intoxication level, breathing would have been difficult at best. Mr. Floyd’s intentional failure to obey commands, coupled with his overdosing, contributed to his own death.”

Epoch Times reporter GQ Pan contributed to this report.



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