A high-ranking police officer presented devastating testimony against Derek Chauvin on Friday as the first week of his murder and manslaughter trial came to a close.
Lt. Richard Zimmerman, the most senior officer in the Minneapolis Police Department with 40 years of law enforcement experience, told the jury that he has never in his long career been trained to kneel on a suspect’s neck.
“That would be deadly force…if your knee is on a person’s neck, that can kill them,” he said in response to prosecutors’ questions. Zimmerman described Chauvin’s treatment of George Floyd as “totally unnecessary.” He added, “Pulling him (Floyd) down to the ground face down, and putting your knee on a neck for that amount of time is just uncalled for.”
But Zimmerman’s condemnation of the defendant’s conduct during his encounter with Floyd on the day he died, May 25, 2020, didn’t stop there. The totality of the police lieutenant’s testimony supported all three of the criminal charges against Chauvin – every single one of them.