Testimony at Chauvin Trial: 'At That Point, It's Just Pain'

LAPD use-of-force expert Sgt. Jody Stiger testified for the prosecution
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2021 11:30 AM CDT
Testimony at Chauvin Trial: 'At That Point, It's Just Pain'
In this image from video, witness Jody Stiger, an LAPD sergeant, testifies Wednesday in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.   (Court TV via AP, Pool)

The prosecution in the case of Derek Chauvin brought in an LAPD use-of-force expert to review documents and videos from the scene, and Sgt. Jody Stiger on Wednesday told jurors Chauvin appeared to be inflicting pain on George Floyd's cuffed hand during his arrest. Citing body-camera video, Stiger said Chauvin "appeared to use a pain compliance on Mr. Floyd's hand" by "squeezing fingers or bringing knuckles together, which can cause pain, or pulling the hand into the cuff, which can cause pain as well." He noted Floyd wasn't observed resisting at the time, reports the Star Tribune. Prosecutor Steve Schleicher asked Stiger to confirm that pain would be used to obtain compliance from a suspect, then asked, "What if there's no opportunity for compliance?" "At that point, it's just pain," Stiger replied.

Stiger also mentioned that lack of resistance was present during the "prone restraint period" when Chauvin's knee was on Floyd's neck. "The pressure that was being caused by the body weight would cause positional asphyxia, which could cause death," said Stiger, who added that positional asphyxia could potentially have occurred even if Chavin's weight had not been on Floyd due to Floyd's positioning. Schleicher asked Stiger to confirm that he observed Chauvin's left knee consistently on Floyd's neck or neck region in a series of photos, which Stiger did. The AP reports that on Tuesday, defense attorney Eric Nelson flagged moments in the video footage where he said Chauvin's knee didn't seem to be placed on Floyd’s neck. Stiger confirmed to Nelson that while he has completed 2,500 use-of-force reviews, this was his first time testifying as an expert. He also said he was being paid $12,950 by the state for his testimony. (More Derek Chauvin stories.)

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