Supervisor: Chauvin Initially Downplayed Knee on Neck

Didn't tell him about it at first, then didn't reveal how long it lasted, he testifies
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2021 12:03 AM CDT
Supervisor: Chauvin Initially Downplayed Knee on Neck
In this image from video, witness David Pleoger, retired Minneapolis police sergeant, reviews a document as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides April 1, 2021, in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn.   (Court TV via AP, Pool)

After Derek Chauvin's fatal encounter with George Floyd, he didn't immediately give his supervisor the details, that supervisor testified at Chauvin's trial Thursday. David Pleoger, a supervisory sergeant who recently retired, was the person who received a call from a concerned 911 dispatcher about possible police use of force May 25 of last year. (The dispatcher also recently testified.) He then called Chauvin, whose bodycam captured his initial description of the incident to Pleoger, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: "Not really, but had to hold the guy down, he was going crazy … wouldn't go in the back of the squad."

Pleoger testified that Chauvin did not tell him right away about putting his knee on Floyd's neck, and that when he ultimately revealed it after Pleoger asked him directly about use of force later, he didn't say it had lasted nine minutes and 29 seconds. "When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint," Pleoger said in response to a question about whether the use of force was appropriate. In response to a follow-up question, he confirmed that he meant once Floyd was on the ground, handcuffed. Also Thursday, a paramedic who responded to the scene testified that a Code 2 was initially called with a report of someone who had a mouth injury. It was upgraded to a Code 3 a minute and a half later, which resulted in paramedics turning on the siren and lights, the AP reports. (More Derek Chauvin stories.)

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