Unreasonable Force: Chauvin held his knee in a 14 year old kids neck for 17 minutes in 2017

Prosecutors are seeking to include body camera footage from the arrest, which they say shows a pattern of excessive force by Chauvin.

Prosecutors of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin want to include at his upcoming trial body camera footage from a 2017 arrest that shows him kneeling on the back of a 14-year-old boy who says he couldn’t breathe.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree unintentional murder and manslaughter in connection to George Floyd’s May 25 death. Video of the moments before Floyd died showed Chauvin kneeling on him for several minutes, during which Floyd said multiple times he couldn’t breathe. 

Prosecutors filed a memorandum of law Monday in Hennepin County District Court in hopes of getting the 2017 bodycam footage from the separate alleged incident included at trial. They say the video rebuts the defense team’s argument that Chauvin used reasonable force in his interaction with Floyd nearly three years later and helps show a pattern of excessive force by Chauvin. 

“This incident shows that, when faced with a suspect who does not immediately comply with his demands, Chauvin intentionally uses a level of unreasonable force to accomplish subdual and restraint,” assistant state Attorney General Matthew Frank wrote in the filing.

Prosecutors detail the Sept. 4, 2017, arrest in the court filing, saying Chauvin and another officer named Wells responded to a domestic assault call in which the mom said she’d been assaulted by her son and daughter. 

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After 33 seconds of talking to the boy, telling him he was being arrested, both officers grabbed him and when he resisted, Chauvin hit him with a flashlight twice, at which point the boy called out for his mom and said they were hurting him, prosecutors say.

Chauvin then asked the other officer to Taser the boy, but he didn’t have one, so Chauvin applied a neck restraint that caused the boy to lose consciousness and go to the ground, prosecutors said. The officers handcuffed him behind his back while Chauvin knelt on him for about 17 minutes until after paramedics arrived and they put him in an ambulance. 

During the time Chauvin’s knee was on his back, the boy – whose ear was bleeding – repeatedly told officers he couldn’t breathe and asked to be placed on his back, which didn’t happen, prosecutors said.

The filing says: 

“As was true with the conduct with George Floyd, Chauvin rapidly escalated his use of force for a relatively minor offense. Just like with Floyd, Chauvin used an unreasonable amount of force without regard for the need for that level of force or the victim’s well-being. Just like with Floyd, when the child was slow to comply with Chauvin and Walls’ instructions, Chauvin grabbed the child by the throat, forced him to the ground in the prone position, and placed his knee on the child’s neck with so much force that the child began to cry out in pain and tell Chauvin he could not breathe. And just like with Floyd, Chauvin ignored those pleas and refused to provide medical assistance. Instead, Chauvin held the child down with his knee on the child’s neck and back for nearly 17 minutes.”

Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson responded to the state’s motion, arguing the video shouldn’t be admissible because the force Chauvin used in the 2017 arrest was in line with the department’s policy on dealing with uncooperative suspects, adding that Chauvin’s use of force was “reported to supervisors and cleared.” 

“The state makes a point of noting that the suspect was rolled onto his stomach and cuffed while Mr. Chauvin used his knee and body weight to pin the suspect to the floor. As noted previously, this is how MPD officers are trained to handcuff individuals — particularly suspects who are resisting,” Nelson wrote, adding that there is “no marked similarity” between this incident and the Floyd incident. 

The Minneapolis Police Department has since changed its use of force policy. In June, after Floyd’s death, it banned chokeholds and neck restraints. 

Part of a pattern

Monday’s filing comes after the state previously filed motions to introduce evidence (called Spreigl evidence) related to 18 different incidents involving the four officers charged in Floyd’s death. Seven of the incidents – including the 2017 arrest – involved Chauvin, with prosecutors saying these prior incidents show the former officer’s pattern of excessive force. 

The bodycam footage from the 2017 arrest was not included in the previous Spreigl evidence filing because prosecutors said they only recently obtained the footage. Prosecutors want the video included at trial because the video is a “far more violent and forceful treatment of this child than Chauvin describes in his report. The videos show Chauvin’s use of unreasonable force towards this child and complete disdain for his well-being.”

Chauvin’s report on the incident says the 14-year-old boy “displayed active resistance to efforts to take him into custody,” noting he was “flailing his arms around,” court documents state. Chauvin felt that if the boy wasn’t arrested, the boy would “escalate his efforts to not be arrested.” Due to his large size (6-foot-2 and 240 pounds), Chauvin struck him a few times and then applied a neck restraint, using his body weight to pin him to the floor while they waited for an ambulance.

[Video] Trigger happy tyrant cop shoots man begging for his life.

Video shows tyrant cop fatally shooting an unarmed man who was begging for his life.

After the officer involved was acquitted of second-degree murder charges, officials in Arizona released graphic video showing Daniel Shaver crawling on his hands and knees and begging for his life in the moments before he was shot and killed by police in January 2016.

Daniel Shaver
Daniel Shaver

Shaver died in one of at least 963 fatal police shootings in 2016, according to a Washington Post database. And his death was one of an increasing number of such shootings to prompt criminal charges in the years since the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Mo. following the death of Michael Brown. Yet charges remain rare, and convictions even more so.

Earlier this week, an ex-South Carolina officer, Micheal Slager, was handed a 20-year federal sentence for violating the civil rights of Walter Scott, an unarmed, fleeing suspect he shot in the back. Slager had previously been charged with murder at the state level, but a mistrial was declared after the jury could not reach a verdict.

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke is currently charged with murder in the 2014 fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald.

The Arizona shooting, by Philip “Mitch” Brailsford, then an officer with the Mesa Police Department, occurred after officers responded to a call about a man allegedly pointing a rifle out of a fifth-floor window at a La Quinta Inn. Inside the room, Shaver, 26, had been doing rum shots with a woman he had met earlier that day and showing off a pellet gun he used in his job in pest control.

The graphic video, recorded by Brailsford’s body camera, shows Shaver and the woman exiting the hotel room and immediately complying with commands from multiple officers.

After entering the hallway, Shaver immediately puts his hands in the air and lays down on the ground while informing the officer that no one else was in the hotel room.

“If you make a mistake, another mistake, there is a very severe possibility that you’re both going to get shot. Do you understand?” an officer yells before telling Shaver to “shut up.”

“I’m not here to be tactical and diplomatic with you. You listen. You obey,” the officer says.

For the next five minutes, officers give Shaver a series of instructions. First, an officer tells Shaver to put both of his hands on top of his head, then he instructs him to cross his left foot over his right foot.

“If you move, we’re going to consider that a threat and we are going to deal with it and you may not survive it,” the officer said.

The officer then has the woman crawl down the hallway, where she is taken into custody. Shaver remains on the ground in the hallway, his hands on his head.

The officer tells Shaver to keep his legs crossed and push himself up into a kneeling position. As Shaver pushes himself up, his legs come uncrossed, prompting the officer to scream at him.

“I’m sorry,” Shaver says, placing his hands near his waist, prompting another round of screaming.

“You do that again, we’re shooting you, do you understand?” an officer yells.

“Please do not shoot me,” Shaver begs, his hands up straight in the air.

A police officer (right) who was acquitted of murder after he killed an unarmed man (left) in an Arizona hotel will get thousands of dollars a month for the rest of his life

At the officer’s command, Shaver then crawls down the hallway, sobbing. At one point, he reaches back – possibly to pull up his shorts – and Brailsford opens fire, striking Shaver five times.

According to the police report, Brailsford was carrying an AR-15 rifle with the phrase “You’re F-ed” etched into the weapon. The police report also said the “shots were fired so rapidly that in watching the video at regular speed, one cannot count them.”

Brailsford testified in court that he believed Shaver was reaching for a gun.

“If this situation happened exactly as it did that time, I would have done the same thing,” Brailsford said during the trial. “I believed 100 percent that he was reaching for a gun.”

No gun was found on Shaver’s body. Two pellet rifles used in Shaver’s pest-control job were later found in the hotel room.

After two days of deliberation, jurors found Brailsford not guilty of second degree murder as well as of a lesser charge of reckless manslaughter.

“The justice system miserably failed Daniel (Shaver) and his family,” said Mark Geragos, an attorney for Shaver’s widow, according to the Arizona Republic.

Attorneys for the officer had petitioned to keep the video from being released, and a judge agreed to block its release to the public until after the trial had concluded.

Brailsford’s attorney, Mike Piccarreta, told The Post in a previous interview that he thinks the body camera footage clears his client.

“It demonstrates that the officer had to make a split-second decision when [Shaver] moved his hands toward the small of his back after being advised that if he did, he’d be shot,” Piccarreta told The Post in 2016.

Piccarreta also said he wasn’t sure his client would be interested in trying to get his police job back.

Shaver’s widow and parents have filed wrongful-death lawsuits against the city of Mesa.

SOURCE: https://www.chicagotribune.com/nation-world/ct-daniel-shaver-police-video-20171208-story.html