The longest-serving police officer in the Minneapolis Police Department said on Friday that Derek Chauvin had violated department policy by kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as he lay handcuffed on his stomach.
Lt. Richard Zimmerman, who leads the department’s homicide unit and responded to the scene of Mr. Floyd’s death after he was taken away in an ambulance, testified in court that what Mr. Chauvin had done was “totally unnecessary.”
“Pulling him down to the ground facedown and putting your knee on a neck for that amount of time, it’s just uncalled for,” Lieutenant Zimmerman said.
His testimony came on the fifth day of the trial of Mr. Chauvin, the former police officer charged with murder in Mr. Floyd’s death, and followed testimony from Mr. Chauvin’s supervisor, who said on Thursday that Mr. Chauvin should have stopped holding Mr. Floyd down once he became unresponsive.
a public letter last June to condemn Mr. Chauvin. “This is not who we are,” the letter said.
Friday was not the first time that Lieutenant Zimmerman had testified in a high-profile case involving police violence. In 2019, he testified that the scene of a fatal shooting by a Minneapolis police officer was well-lit, contradicting an argument from the officers’ lawyers that the lighting in the area was poor.