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CHAUVIN TRIAL: 1st week of witness testimony wraps up; MPD lieutenant says incident was ‘uncalled for’

Sgt. Jon Edwards
Officers at the scene
Lt. Richard Zimmerman

MINNEAPOLIS (KTTC) -- Day five of witness testimony in the Derek Chauvin trial began with a Minneapolis police officer who secured the crime scene after George Floyd was taken away by paramedics.

Witness #18 Sergeant Jon Edwards

Edwards works for the Minneapolis Police Department. He was informed by Sergeant Ploeger that Floyd was in the hospital and may not survive. Ploeger told Edwards that he needed to head to the crime scene.

When Edwards arrived at 38th and Chicago he said there were not many people there. He met up with former officer Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane.

He said it took eight to 12 officers to secure the area.

"My guys and I just remained there for scene security to ensure that no vehicle or pedestrian traffic entered the crime scene and contaminated our scene," Edwards said.

Edwards and officers taped off the area. He also instructed officers to find witnesses. Edwards also talked to the Cup Foods manager, who said he did not witness the incident.

Edwards said the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension took over the scene, and took away Floyd's car as well as Kueng and Lane's squad car.

Witness #19 Lt. Richard Zimmerman

Zimmerman is a Minneapolis police officer who is the head of the homicide division.

"I get called for every death, suspicious death. Deaths where its clearly a homicide. Deaths where officers may have any questions about how a person may have died. I got out to the scene," he said.

Zimmerman been a police officer since 1981.

He arrived to the crime scene after officers had taped off the area.

Zimmerman told the court that he has never been trained to kneel on a persons neck while the person was handcuffed. He said that technique is deadly force.

"If your knee is on a persons neck, that can kill them," Zimmerman said.

He said when a person is handcuffed, they are under the officer's care.

"That person is yours. He's your responsibility. His safety is your responsibility. His well-being is your responsibility," he said.

He also said when a person is handcuffed, the threat level goes down.

"They're cuffed. How can they really hurt you?" Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman also told the court that a handcuffed person should not lie on their chest because their breathing will be constricted. He said the incident on May 25 was "totally unnecessary."

“First of all, pulling him down to the ground face down and putting your knee on the neck for that amount of time is just uncalled for. I saw no reason why the officers felt they were in danger," he said.

Both Zimmerman and Edwards said officers involved in critical incidents are transported to Room 100 at City Hall where they are questioned on the incident.

The trial will continue on Monday at 9:30 a.m.

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