MINNEAPOLIS, (FOX 47) — The court has heard from almost 30 witnesses in total in the Derek Chauvin trial. On Tuesday morning, before testimony began, the court heard of Morries Hall’s attorney. Hall is George Floyd’s friend.
Hall is also the man that went to Cup Foods with Floyd on May 25, 2020, and he was in the passenger seat when officers approached Floyd. He is currently in jail and joined the hearing through Zoom.
Hall has been accused of selling opioids to Floyd, and drugs were found in the car that both Floyd and Hall were in.
“I notified all parties Mr. Hall would be invoking his fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination were he called to testify, I think subsequently filed my notice, my notion to quash the subpoena,” Hall’s attorney Adrienne Cousins said.
She told the court that Hall would not be protected if he testified.
“At this point in time, Mr. Hall has no immunity,” Cousins said. “He has been provided no immunity, no protection for his testimony whatsoever, and because of that Mr. Hall is invoking his fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination in several key areas of questioning that we believe he would face.”
Cousins told the court that any questions asked of Mr. Hall could be self-incriminating, even questions that do not involve drugs.
Judge Peter Cahill told the defense to write down a list of questions that will be given to Hall and his attorneys, so Hall’s lawyers can tell the court if the questions would be self-incriminating.
Cahill asked the defense to submit the questions on Thursday.
Witness #23 Sgt. Ker Yang
Ker Yang has been with the Minneapolis Police Department for 24 years. He is a crisis intervention training instructor. He talked about the department’s Critical Decision Model.
“A lot of the time, we have the time to slow things down and reevaluate and reassess,” Yang said.
Witness #24 Lt. Johnny Mercil
Johnny Mercil is currently on medical leave with MPD, and he has been an officer for 25 years. Mercil trained officers on use of force. He also conducted Brazilian jiu-jitsu training.
The prosecution showed evidence that Chauvin attended Mercil’s use of force class in 2018.
He told the court that officers are trained to use the least amount of force.
“The minimum amount of force that you need to accomplish the objective of arresting or detaining somebody is what you should use,” Mercil said.
Mercil was asked if the above photo is a MPD-trained neck restraint.
Mercil said it is not.
“Knee on the neck would be something that does happen in use of force that isn’t authorized,” he said.
Witness #25 Nicole Mackenzie
Nicole Mackenzie has been with MPD for six years. She is the medical support coordinator, administrator of the Narcan program and conducts CPR training.
She was asked if officers are trained to believe that if a person can talk, they can breathe. She told the court officers are not trained to learn that.
“There is a possibility that somebody could be in respiratory distress and still be able to verbalize it. Just because they are speaking doesn’t mean they are breathing adequately,” Mackenzie said
During the defense’s cross-examination, they asked Mackenzie if a hostile crowd could be a reason officers delay providing CPR, and Mackenzie said yes.
After attorneys finished questioning Mackenzie, she was told by Judge Cahill that she would be subpoenaed to come back Tuesday, April 13 at 9 a.m. for the defense’s case.
Witness #26 Sgt. Jody Stiger
Jody Stiger has worked for the Los Angeles Police Department for 28 years.
He’s worked on use of force board and helped teach officer tactics courses such as de-escalation and use of force.
“In a normal situation where you are dealing with someone that’s a counterfeiter or someone who is using a counterfeit bill, typically you wouldn’t even expect to use some type of force,” Stiger said.
Stiger gave his opinions on the May 25 incident.
“Initially, when Mr. Floyd was being placed in the back seat of the vehicle, he was actively resisting the officers,” he said. “So at that point, the officers were justified in utilizing force to try to have him comply with their commands and seat him in the back seat of the vehicle.”
Stiger said once Floyd was placed on the ground and slowed down his resistance, the officers should have done the same.
“They should have slowed down or stopped their force as well,” he said.
Testimony will resume Wednesday at 9:15 a.m.