On the fifth day of the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, the top homicide investigator in the US city of Minneapolis has said the officer used “totally unnecessary” force when arresting George Floyd.

Richard Zimmerman said officers were responsible for the safety and wellbeing of anyone they arrested.

“Totally unnecessary,” he said, when asked about Chauvin’s actions. “If your knee is on a person’s neck, that can kill them.”

He said that he could see no reason for Chauvin to keep his knee on Floyd for more than nine minutes.

“First of all, pulling him down to the ground facedown and putting your knee on a neck for that amount of time is just uncalled for,” he said.

“I saw no reason why the officers felt they were in danger, if that’s what they felt… and that’s what they would have to have felt to be able to use that kind of force.”

In his testimony on Friday, Lieutenant Zimmerman said he arrived on the scene after Floyd’s death in order to help ensure evidence was secured and witnesses were found.

Paramedics, bystanders and Floyd’s girlfriend have taken the stand since the trial began on Monday.

David Pleoger, the supervising police officer on duty that day, said he only learned later in the evening that Chauvin had restrained Floyd by kneeling on his neck.

He told the court that an officer should stop using the knee as a restraint once “you get control of the situation” and the suspect is in handcuffs.

Throughout the testimony, Chauvin has been taking almost constant notes.


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