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tv   Day 7 of Trial for Derek Chauvin Accused in Death of George Floyd  CSPAN  April 7, 2021 9:45am-10:17am EDT

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>> let's leave it there with resilience and the preparation for being stronger on the recovery end in the next global expansion. well, fingers crossed. there's lots of work to be done, but that's a great conclusion, thank you. thanks to you both. >> the trial for derek chauvin, the former minneapolis police officer charged in the death of george floyd continues wednesday at 10 a.m. eastern. watch live coverage of the trial on c-span2, on-line at c-span.org or listen live on the c-span radio app or if you missed watch at 8 p.m. eastern c-span2 or anytime on demand ott c-span.org. now back to day seven of derek chauvin's trial in the death of george floyd. the prosecution brought in los angeles police sergeant jody
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steiger to testify on use of force by law enforcement. members. jury, just so you know, we'll probably have another short break, probably not the full 20, are we pushing through? no, we all need to stay well. so we'll take another break eventually this afternoon. mr. schleicher, you may call your next work. >> thank you, your honor. the state calls jodi steiger. >> raise your right hand. do you swear or affirm on the
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penalty of perjury that the testimony you're about to give is the truth and nothing, but truth? >> i do. >> take a seat. >> and if you won't mind-- [inaudible] i'd ask that you remove your mask, if ul comfortable doing so. >> yes, sir. >> and let's begin by having you state your full name, spelling each of your names. >> yes, sir. jody steiger j-o-d-y, s-t-i-g-e-r. >> thank you. how are you employed. >> with the lost police department. >> what capacity. >> as a sergeant. >> you're here a serving an as
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retained expert by the state in this matter. >> yes. >> and this is outside of your typical duties with the l.a. police department? >> yes, sir, i'm on vacation. >> all right. well, welcome to minnesota. thank you. sir, before we begin your testimony you'd like you just to introduce yourself and share a little about your background with the jury, how old are you? >> i'm 50 years old. >> and you indicated you're currently a sergeant with the l.a.p.d. can you please describe for the jury how you became involved in law enforcement? >> yeah, shortly after leaving the marine corps, i joined the los angeles police department in april of 1993. yesterday was my 28-year anniversary. i did the police academy. after graduating the police academy, i was assigned to a patrol division and from there,
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i was recruited to work on undercover in the high schools to buy drugs as a-- >> los angeles high school? >> yes. >> and you were working undercover. >> yes. >> how long did you have that assignment? >> approximately six months. >> what did you do after that? >> after that i was assigned to another patrol division in south los angeles, and southwest division near the campus of university of southern california and i worked there until 1998. >> all right. and what were your duties, just generally, as a patrol officer in that particular area of los angeles? >> for the first two years of patrol, where was service primarily, during that time it was a pretty violent time in los angeles. i believe the-- on average in our division we averaged anywhere from 100 to
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200 homicides a year so it was a pretty dangerous area. >> and after then, you said you held that position as a patrol officer for how many years? >> just for patrol specifically i was there for two years and then i was recruited to work the gang unit at the same division. >> the same geographic area. >> yes. >> describe that work for the jury. >> primarily gang intelligence. i was assigned a specific gang and neighborhood and our assignment was to gather intelligence, make arrests, handle any calls of service specific to that specific gang. >> how long did you work in the gang unit? >> that specific gang unit for three and a half years. >> and where did you go after that? >> i was recruited to go and work the fbi task force in the
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same bureau for specific to that gang that i was assigned to in the southwest division. >> who is that? more of a long-term investigation? >> yeah, so we were doing investigative work, so basically we handled all crimes other than murders and sexual assaults that were committed by that specific gang. >> and how long did you do that? >> i did that for approximately a year and a half. >> and then where did you go? >> then i was recruited and i was assigned to the training division at our-- for in-service tactics. >> and approximately what year was that? >> approximately 2000. >> and what did you do for your in-service tactics unit? >> for the in-service tactics unit we developed a 32-hour
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course, it was the first of its kind for the los angeles police department. it was a four-day course where we went over deescalation, firearms manipulation, basic patrol tactics and arrest control techniques. >> and what was your assignment afterwards? >> after that position? i was promoted to sergeant. >> have you spent some time on the use of force board for your department? >> yes, was a peer member. >> what does that mean? >> the way the los angeles police department's use of force review is set up is there's a -- three stages, initially you have a -- and these are for the higher profile uses of force not all levels of force. higher profiles, and you have a
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board that convenes for staff and one peer review member. depending on the officer involved, if it's a police officer, then you have a peer that's an officer. if it's a sergeant, a sergeant. detective, detective. so on and so forth. i was a peer member 2003 until 2007 so i was a peer member as a police officer as well as a sergeant where i sat on the board as a board of five people, for command staff and the peer and basically we review all the information that was gathered during the investigation and we make recommendations to chief of police. at that point the chief of police then gets na that information and makes a recommendation to police commission and then the police commission has the final say. >> and what you're reviewing is actions, conduct involving uses of force of others officers, is that right? >> yes, sir. >> and then what was your next
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assignment after serving on at that board? >> that was just -- that was adjunct duty so i with a-- i was called as needed. i was promoted to sergeant in 2006 and i was assigned to our central division which is downtown los angeles. >> what was required to become a sergeant for the l.a.p.d. >> you have to take a written test. and once you pass the written test you also have to go through an interview process and then you're ranked and you also have to have a certain amount of college credits in order to be eligible to take the test. >> you were eventually selected as sergeant. can you tell the jury what your first was as a sergeant? >> yes, my first duty was assigned to our central division with us downtown los
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angeles, skid row area. >> in the skid row area? >> yes, sir. >> doing what? >> i was a patrol sergeant, a field sergeant. >> so describe what that job was like, what are you supposed to do? >> general duty of the field sergeant is assign officers to a specific watch, normally anywhere from 10 to 20 officers will be assigned to a specific watch and you maybe one or two supervisors that are assigned to that watch as well and general duties such as providing role call training in the early, the beginning of the watch, as well as just overall supervision, making sure that officers are conducting themselves properly as well as if there's a use of force, you have to respond to the use of force and take the use of force investigations as well. >> and did you take a different position after serving as a sergeant? >> i'm still a sergeant, but, yes, i-- within about six months i was
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assigned to our safer cities initiative which was focused on the homeless problem in skid row area so i did that for the next year and a half. >> now, you've described a couple of geographic areas of los angeles in which you've serveds an a patrol officer and a patrol sergeant. i'd like you to please just describe in general terms those areas in terms of the dangerousness or the crime rate there. >> well, in my first assignment in south bureau, south bureau historically has the highest violent crime in the city. central bureau and central division usually is second or third. >> and what kind of crimes are you typically responding to? >> primarily violent crimes, robberies, assaults, things of
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that nature. >> and i'd also like you to describe for the jury the training that you received in the use of force and defensive tactics to help you do your job as a patrol officer and a patrol sergeant. >> i was unique in a sense because i was a tactics instructor for six years so i had a lot of background in use of force tactics, prior to making sergeant. prior to that i was a patrol officer, we would get quarterly training as well as annual training that would keep us up-to-date on any changes in laws or policy and procedures. >> and what does it mean to be a tactics instructor? >> for our department and for the state of california you have to go through different types of training. so i've been through our force
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options, instructor training as well as deescalation training. i'm a trainer for our deescalation force options. i've been through the fbi course, handgun instructor as well, and a number of leadership courses as well. >> and have you had an educational role or a teaching role within your department? >> yes, as i stated earlier for six years i was a tactics instructor for in-service training for the course i had mentioned earlier. >> so this would-- in-service training would be for already serving officers, right, experienced officers? >> yes. >> and that would be in the form of annual training? >> yes. >> during that annual training, would you provide training to your department's use of force policy? >> yes, and the state law. >> and the state law.
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and have you reviewed, generally, use of force policies across the nation and compared those with the use of force policies in your department? >> yes. so my current position, i am the aide to the inspector general which is oversight entity within the los angeles police department, independent of the department itself. i'm the only sworn officer that works for that unit. there's 28 overall employees. during that time, during my time there, i was able to travel nationwide and go to a number of different police agencies to basically compare their use of force policies as well as the training with los angeles police department. >> and are your policies in the los angeles police department fairly consistent with the policies and standards
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nationwide? >> yes, sir. >> is there sort of a nationwide sort of acceptable reasonableness of a police officer that's generally accepted in your field? >> objection, leading. >> overruled. >> yes. getting back to your days as a trainer for defensive tactics and instruction, approximately how many los angeles police officers did you provide training in that six-year time period? ... >> we taught them basic patrol tactics such as vehicle stops, edition stops as well as
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firearms manipulation and ultimately we would do at the end of the 40 course the goal was for them to utilize their de-escalation tactics so they wouldn't have to use force. >> did you teach specific tactics, ground training or anything like that? >> no. we were, we taught all the subjects. >> all right. now, , you indicated in your current role with the department you do use of force reviews, is that correct? >> no, not in my current role. >> and a prior role i should say. >> yes. >> in terms of use of the reviews and the numbers of use the force reviews you have completed in your career can you estimate approximately how many you have done? >> approximately 2500. >> of those 2500 2500 forcs have you ever made findings that the use of force was excessive
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or objectively unreasonable? >> yes. >> have you ever made findings where such use the force was not excessive? >> yes. >> when you were done use of force reviews, is that include the review of the use of deadly force? >> yes. in certain situations. primarily in that role, after being a patrol sergeant i was assigned comp i was promoted and decide to be training coordinator for south bureau, which is pretty much all of south los angeles.
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i'm a member of the -- drawing a blank, i'm sorry. a number of them. i'm trying to not save the accidents because then i have to say them all out. a number of other police organizations that involve tactical manager. >> had you been called upon by other law enforcement agencies to provide instruction in use of force? >> instructions specifically, no. i have consulted with a number of other agencies. >> consultation of use the force reviews? >> yes. >> what other agencies have you assisted? >> i've assisted the university
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of california, also the president. i've assisted kueng county office of ombudsman. i've assisted california city police department as well as the university of california irvine police department. >> you indicated already you have been retained as an expert witness for the state in this matter, it's all right? >> yes, sir. >> if conducted then a a revif some of the various materials associated with the death of george floyd that happened may 25, 2020, is, is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> do you charge a fee for your services? >> yes. >> can you please tell the jury what the fee is in this matter? >> that was a flat fee of $10,000 and for trial the fee is $2950. >> that is included reviewing
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all of the different offense materials were provided, right? >> yes, sir. >> could you please tell the jury some general high-level terms what offense materials you have reviewed? >> i have reviewed all the body worn videos, all the other videos that were provided to me that were cell phone video,, things of that nature, reports, manuals from the minneapolis police department as well as the training materials. >> one moment. if we may have a sidebar, your honor. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> all right. based upon your view of the different materials that you have conducted in this case and based upon your own experience and training in law enforcement, have you reached an opinion as to the degree and amount of force used by the defendant mr. chauvin on george floyd? >> yes. >> and can ask you to explain to the jury a little bit about what
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process for methodology you go through to render such an opinion? >> there's a few steps. the main step is going through the objective reasonable stance which is based off of brown versus connor. looking at the seriousness of the crime, looking at the persons actions, things of that nature as well is looking at the specific agencies policies and procedures as well. >> in addition to the seriousness of the crime under the grandstand or do you look at any of the factors? >> -- graham standard. >> i try to look at a number of factors. what was known to the officers at the time and again like i said one of the biggest things i look at is what was the persons actions at the time that the officer was using force. >> all right. and based upon your review of these materials and in light of the graham factors, what is your
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opinion as to the degree of force used by the defendant on mr. floyd on the date in question? >> my opinion was that the force was excessive. >> before we then talk about that, the specific basis for that, we need to define and review terms. what is force? >> force could be typically what officers would use in a law enforcement perspective obviously, forces a different techniques and tools that officers may use to try to take someone into custody or apprehend a person or to control them. >> can force include a restraint? >> yes, sir. >> if i may show you exhibit 17 which has been received into evidence. can you describe what it is you see here? >> i see officer with his knee
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on the neck of mr. floyd? >> this is a form of force? >> yes. >> you can remove exhibit 17. i'm sorry, that was supposed to be published. that's all right. if you could republish the exhibit then, 17. this is specifically what we are talking about in terms of the force you were reviewing, is that right? >> yes, sir. >> and the force you stated in your opinion was excessive is that the force that began right around the point that mr. floyd was on the ground? >> yes, sir. >> all right. now i i would like to then fos your attention to the grandma g vs. connor factor pick you indicated one of the factors that you consider is the severity of the offense being investigated, is that right? >> yes, sir. >> to you recall what was at the
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severity of the offense being investigated here? >> if i remember correctly it was mr. floyd was accused of having a counterfeit 20-dollar bill. >> how does that particular offense, , the severity of the offense, relates to the appropriateness of the force in the used against them? >> typically, in a normal situation where you don't want someone -- counterfeiter or someone was using a counterfeit bill, typically you would next spect use any type of force. >> when you are looking at in the connor standard the severity of the offense, is the label of the offense, the misdemeanor or felony, is that important? >> in some cases yes. >> what do you find more important than the label of the offense? >> the persons actions. >> and so would it be fair to describe the counterfeit $20
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bill as a fairly low-level offense? >> yes. >> in the connor world that would justify lesser force, is that right? >> yes, sir. >> the second factor is whether the person would pose some sort of an immediate threat, is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> can you describe to the jury what is a threat? >> i threat could be perceived as something where an officer feels that the person is going to assault them or going to assault someone else. >> and is identifying a level of threat, is that an objective standard, a subjective standard, how is that viewed? >> it could be subjective. >> council? >> dependent on the officers, their training and experience. >> we talk about threat i would like to distinguish between a threat and a risk there is a difference between a threat and risk? >> yes. >> explained that difference to the jury.
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>> so typically police officers, going into situation there's a risk factor involved just based on the nature of policing. i tried to describe it when in teaching i describe it as if you're going into the middle of the movie you don't know what's going on so you're trying to figure out all the information as you are going through. as far as the threat is concerned, a threat would be when someone becomes combative or insulting towards you or towards another person. >> what kind of factors can present a risk? >> the location, just the mere call itself the call for service, what the actual crime was. >> what about the characteristics of the subject? what characteristics can pose a potential risk? >> i'm sorry, could you -- >> for example, the size of the subject. >> yes, in certain instances size and stature to make a
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difference. >> in terms of a risk, is out right? >> yes. >> is the size of a subject, would a subject necessarily constitute a threat? >> no, not necessarily. >> and why is that? >> again it is based on the person's actions, not specifically just their size and stature. >> and so and in conductingf force review or looking at the objective reasonableness of force, is it appropriate to use force against an individual simply because of their larger size? >> no. >> i would like you to discuss the connor standard of resistance, when the person is resisting or attempting to evade law enforcement officers. is that something you would do? >> yes. >> and were you able to make any kind of assessment in this case as to whether or not mr. floyd
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was offering resistance for trying to evade law enforcement officer? >> yes. >> and what was your assessment? >> initially when mr. floyd was being placed in the back seat of the vehicle, he was actually resisting the officers. so at that point the officers were justified in utilizing force to try to have them comply with the commands and to seek him in the back seat of the vehicle. however, once he was placed in the prone position on the ground he slowly ceased his resistance and at that point the officers, ex-office i should say, they should have slowed down or stopped their force as well. >> now, i would like to back up to a certain point -- [inaudible] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> and so i asked you to make an assessment as to the reason the building of the force that was used by the law enforcement officers as it relates to whether or not mr. floyd was offering any kind of resistance. do you recall that? >> yes, sir. >> i believe you indicated mr. floyd was offering resistance initially outside of the vehicle, is that right? >> yes, outside and inside the cl

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