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LIVE: Chauvin Trial Day 2 – State Calls ‘Use of Force’ and Other Witnesses

LIVE: Chauvin Trial Day 2 – State Calls ‘Use of Force’ and Other Witnesses

State Witness Martial Arts “Expert” Donald Williams Continues His Testimony

Welcome to our LIVE coverage of the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, over the in-custody death of George Floyd.  I’ll be live blogging the court’s proceedings all day in real-time!

For those who may not know, I’m Attorney Andrew F. Branca, an internationally-recognized expert in use-of-force law, providing daily real-time legal analysis of the Chauvin trial’s proceedings as a guest commentator for Legal Insurrection, as well as over at my own blog, Law of Self Defense.

Today’s court proceedings continue with the state prosecutors presenting their case in chief, continuing with the last of yesterday’s state witnesses, Douglas Williams (shown on right in featured post).  Mr. Williams is the state’s purported “security” and “martial arts” expert. You can see an hour or so of his testimony provided yesterday afternoon on direct by the state, in yesterday’s wrap-up post, here: Chauvin Trial Day 1 Wrap-Up: Opening Arguments & Three State Witnesses

Here’s live video of the court’s proceedings:

We are using a new live blogging software. If you encounter any problems, post in the regular comment section to this post.

Here’s our live blogging, updated in real time throughout the day:

Enjoy the show!

–Andrew

Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC

Attorney Andrew F. Branca’s legal practice has specialized exclusively in use-of-force law for thirty years.  Andrew provides use-of-force legal consultancy services to attorneys across the country, as well as near-daily use-of-force law insight, expertise, and education to lawyers and non-lawyers alike in the form of blog posts, video, and podcasts, through the Law of Self Defense Membership service.  If this kind of content is of interest to you, try out our two-week Membership trial for a mere 99 cents, with a 200% no-question- asked money-back guarantee, here:  Law of Self Defense Membership Trial.

[Featured image is a screen capture from the live video of this trial, <em>Minnesota v. Chauvin</em>.]

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Comments

Closely related, it has been disclosed that Crump/BLM Saint, Ahmaud Arbery, has a mile long record of serious and violent crime with quite a bit caught on video.

Its also noteworthy that Arbery’s reputation as a “jogger” come from shopkeepers description of Arbery’s habit of coming into the store and taking merchandise and then running out the door with it.

https://www.glynncounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/69162/114-Notice-of-Intent

I understand that I am not watching/ listening live, and perhaps some of his demeanor is not coming through on text, but I simply cannot understand how the state feels that Williams is in any way a credible witness.

He sounds like a martial arts meathead braggart.

    bigskydoc in reply to bigskydoc. | March 30, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Ok, some of the emotional appeal at the end was potent. I guess I can see why the state wanted to lead with him, but why they let him peacock around before getting to the meat of the testimony is beyond me. Kind of left it out over the plate for the defense. Cross should be good and juicy

      bigskydoc in reply to bigskydoc. | March 30, 2021 at 11:10 am

      OK, Williams either completely doesn’t know what he is talking about, or is lying through his teeth. “No, blood choke is to choke just one side of the neck.” When my kid was doing Jiu Jitsu at 10, he fully understood how to apply a “blood choke” and that it requires both sides of the neck to be compressed. This guy supposedly has a 10 plus year involvement with martial arts, and thinks you only need to compress one side? Something very fishy here.

        nacnud62 in reply to bigskydoc. | March 30, 2021 at 11:20 am

        Doc, reminds me of nursing school where they teach you to NOT palpate BOTH carotids at one time to prevent occlusion of blood to the brain.

        bigskydoc in reply to bigskydoc. | March 30, 2021 at 11:23 am

        Someone could pass out from a unilateral carotid occlusion if the other side were occluded due to carotid stenosis. Floyd certainly could have had advanced atherosclerotic disease, and carotid stenosis, but it would have been noted on autopsy.

          Of course, there would be no way for arresting officers to be aware of any such occlusion, and therefore be on notice that pressure to one side of neck could be dangerous to the suspect.

          Andy in reply to bigskydoc. | March 30, 2021 at 4:47 pm

          Correct. You can also do a blood choke by extending one side of the neck, though it is harder to do.

          bigsky- in a kids bjj class and in adult fundamentals, many of the chokes you first learn are on both sides; ie- the cross collar. White belts love the ezeiquiel (forgive the spelling) because it gets both sides hard, but a one sided choke is just as effective and often more so because you can’t tell it’s on until you wake up.

          An effective choke is on in about 7 seconds. Speaking from experience, if it is intermittent or not tight, you will first lose motor skills in your arms/legs. It’s often called going down the tunnel because hearing speech and sight go next. I can only liken it to what stroke victims probably experience. If you are lucky and attuned you can communicate that “something is wrong” and a highly trained person will know to back the eff off. To the CHOKER, the CHOKEE may still appear to be resisting since there will be an involuntary rhythmic bobbing and pulling with arms. As Branca said, I doubt LEOs are trained this well. This is why in open mat at gyms, an upper belt needs to be watching the mats to make sure someone isn’t dying on the mats.

          “I can’t breath” is not a blood choke. A blood choke is “I’m not conscious but will wake up in 10 seconds if the choke is released.

          Air chokes seldom work if any adrenaline is pumping.

          I’ve been rolling since 2016- and daily for most of that with obvious down time for Covid. A simple knee on the neck is extremely unlikely to cause a choke. A local wrestling coach was fired for saying this on social media, but he’s right.

          More probable that the lack of O2 to the brain was caused by other factors.

        Joe-dallas in reply to bigskydoc. | March 30, 2021 at 12:02 pm

        Nelson: air chokes are from the front, correct, cutting off the air.

        Williams: Correct.

        Nelson: Front of neck, cutting off airway, renders them unconscious.

        Williams: Repeat that?

        This line is important
        disapointed that choke one side wasnt pressed harder by neslon

        Nelson: Air choke is form front, and in doing so can render them unconscious?

        Williams: Not a medical person, so I won’t answer that.

    MarkSmith in reply to bigskydoc. | March 30, 2021 at 11:15 am

    PBS has the live steam. Looks like Nelson handled him pretty good. Nelson established that William was angery and William try to deflect. The made William look like he is covering it up.

    This testimony is weak. Strawman is different than drug related event.

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/watch-live-trial-of-derek-chauvin-charged-with-killing-george-floyd-resumes-in-minneapolis

      Midfiaudiophile in reply to MarkSmith. | March 30, 2021 at 11:19 am

      I don’t think Nelson handled him that well. He seemed angry, accusatory, and mean, and the jury isn’t going to like that, while Williams basically remained calm.

      Honestly, I thought that the direct had enough holes in it that the cross-examination might have actually strengthened his effectiveness as a witness, in the end.

    Midfiaudiophile in reply to bigskydoc. | March 30, 2021 at 11:16 am

    I had the same thought… they’re not qualifying him as an expert in either anatomy or submission holds before the court, but they’re using him in the same way that they might use an expert. It’s very weird.

    I’m going to look forward to seeing the state police procedure experts on cross, or defense police procedure experts on direct, answer questions about how heavily you should weight the criticisms of angry unrelated bystanders when attempting to take someone into custody.

      MarkSmith in reply to Midfiaudiophile. | March 30, 2021 at 11:35 am

      I think Willam’s head movements and body language did not look good. Nelson made him look like an angry guys. His credibility will be easy to undercut with expert testimony.

      He will be forgotten as time goes along.

        Midfiaudiophile in reply to MarkSmith. | March 30, 2021 at 12:00 pm

        One of my major complaints about Williams’ testimony is that it seemed rehearsed to the point that he lost some credibility for me. The “Fish in a Bag” story and its later callback when discussing “the life leaving Floyd’s eyes” was ludicrous.

        Cross-examination, where the specific phrasing of the questions he was being asked was not known ahead of time, would have been the time to break that facade and show how carefully crafted the performance was. Nelson didn’t quite manage that.

          Defense counsel can’t force a state witness to answer the question the way the defense would prefer. Can only pose the question, and get an answer. Counsel also cannot offer testimony, can’t simply say: “No, you’re being stupidly wrong, that’s not how carotid chokes work.” There’s no way for Nelson to force Williams to give an accurate description of a vascular choke. Can only ask, get Williams’ answer, and later bring in defense use-of-force expert. The good news for the defense is that by deliberations Williams’ testimony will be almost a month in the past, and defense use-of-force expert testimony much more recent. Also presumably, of a higher quality and credibility that what Williams offered.

          Midfiaudiophile in reply to Midfiaudiophile. | March 30, 2021 at 12:32 pm

          Mr. Branca,

          That’s a fair point. Personally, I’ve been underplaying Mr. Williams’ testimony on anatomy and holds and so on, so all of the focus on that area of his testimony in the cross-examination seemed completely irrelevant to me since the same topics are going to be covered by witnesses who do know what they’re talking about on both the state and defense sides later in the process. But this is probably the first thing that some jurors have ever heard about the topic, and so it might carry more weight than it should, even if it’s refuted later by other witnesses.

          My focus had been exclusively on Mr. Williams’ experience at the scene of the event, but defense counsel doesn’t have that luxury.

    Lucifer Morningstar in reply to bigskydoc. | March 30, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    No, he sounds like a mixed martial arts meathead braggart. You know MMA, where two grown men get into a ring and then beat the crap out of each other until one person is knocked unconscious or is unable to continue. No real skill involved in the whole thing.

Mr, Branca, can you explain the significance of the witness looking at notes and the defense counsel asking him to put them aside.

Nelson: air chokes are from the front, correct, cutting off the air.

Williams: Correct.

Nelson: Front of neck, cutting off airway, renders them unconscious.

Williams: Repeat that?

This line is important

Nelson: Air choke is form front, and in doing so can render them unconscious?

Williams: Not a medical person, so I won’t answer that.

Shifty Bitwise | March 30, 2021 at 10:56 am

Williams is full of crap. You cant cut off blood to the brain with pressure to only one side of the neck.

This guy is a poser and a fraud.

Can anyone figure out what it says on his shirt. It looks like the F word.

Williams is an idiot.
Claims a “blood choke” is performed on only ONE side of the neck. LOL!

Big score for the defense though when they got him to state that he has seen fighters immediately come back and start fighting after regaining consciousness after being choked out. Validates Chauvin maintaining a restraint on Floyd even after he passed out.

The Packetman | March 30, 2021 at 11:29 am

In my laymans’ opinion that Nelson is doing a pretty good job, and Williams is trying to fight waaaaay above his weight …

Midfiaudiophile | March 30, 2021 at 11:34 am

I don’t get what Frank was trying to get at with the “Your opponent has to follow the rules” thing. An arrest is not an MMA match…

    Midfiaudiophile in reply to Midfiaudiophile. | March 30, 2021 at 11:52 am

    Again, how dare they handcuff someone who is in the process of being arrested. Don’t they know it’s supposed to be a fair and sporting fight?

How is MSM reacting to Williams cross-examination?

I was little disappointed with Nelson on cross. I felt he could have connected the dots better for the jury on the fact that chokes require both carotid arteries to be compressed, that it takes seconds not minutes to render unconsciousness, and that you can’t speak clearly while being choked. Instead he pivoted to William’s behavior and actions towards the officers which I don’t think will play well with the jury. If you think an injustice is occurring his actions might no seem completely unreasonable.

    Nelson cannot offer testimony. He can’t describe to the jury what a carotid choke actually requires. All he can do is ask Williams questions. If Williams answers are stupid, Nelson can impeach only with other evidence from someone other than Nelson–like the defense’s own use-of-force expert.

    Andy in reply to nitro9. | March 30, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    The way a one sided blood choke seems to work is the choker is physically applying pressure on one side, while “something” is blocking it from the other side. The best and most common example is a triangle choke (look it up on youtube). The choker’s leg is applying pressure on side of the neck while the chokees own body is applying pressure on the other side- it’s often the shoulder.

If Andrews is the main prosecution witness of use of force and its justification in law enforcement, then the prosecution is doomed.

So far, Andrews has been incorrect in the bulk of his technical testimony. His knowledge of the martial arts, to which he ascribes knowledge, is either extremely limited or totally inaccurate.

His activities at the scene, as portrayed in the video, are, at best, indicative of a man who jumped to a conclusion, based upon limited information. He saw what appeared to be Chauvin causing Floyd’s obvious distress and attributed it to compression on Floyd’s neck provided by Chauvin’s knee. However, when faced with evidence which contradicted that assumption he has, seemingly, chosen to ignore anything which will contradicts his previous assumptions or statements.

To make things worse, for the prosecution, he tends to contradict himself. So far, he has essentially impeached himself. The guy is not only a loss, but is becoming a detriment to the prosecution. However, the prosecution has literally NO evidence to support the charges and will throw anything against to wall, in an attempt to support them, a nd hope something sticks.

    Observer in reply to Mac45. | March 30, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    “He saw what appeared to be Chauvin causing Floyd’s obvious distress and attributed it to compression on Floyd’s neck provided by Chauvin’s knee. However, when faced with evidence which contradicted that assumption he has, seemingly, chosen to ignore anything which will contradicts his previous assumptions or statements.”
    ___________

    That describes not just Andrews’ perception, but about 95% of the public’s perception of the case as well. They saw a black man under a white cop’s knee, heard the black man saying he couldn’t breathe and calling for his mama, then saw him pass out. They assumed the cop was responsible, and screamed for his head. Later (after the crooked powers-that-be finally allowed it), the facts came out about the terrible pre-existing diseased condition of Floyd’s heart, the massive fentanyl overdose he had swallowed as the cop approached him (to avoid being charged with drug dealing), the history Floyd had of previously overdosing himself during a prior drug arrest, the videos of Floyd repeatedly complaining of being unable to breathe while still standing, the Minneapolis PD training materials that show cops are instructed to restrain addicts exhibiting signs of excited delirium with the knee to the neck restraint, and the medical experts’ conclusion that Floyd died as the result of a drug overdose. But none of the facts mattered, because the narrative of “raaaaacist white cop kills innocent black man by kneeling on his neck” had become the accepted narrative, and that fairy tale was repeated so many times, and used as the justification for so much “social justice” rioting, that no facts would ever be allowed to change it.

We need to remember that the officers didn’t know what drugs Floyd was on. He could have been on PCP which would make him dangerous to the officers even when in handcuffs.

They tried and failed to place Floyd in the squad car. So the logical thing to do is restrain him on the ground while waiting for EMT.

Floyd’s autopsy found no damage to his throat/neck and no evidence of strangulation. Furthermore, it found that he had taken a fatal dose of fentanyl .

Floyd’s repeated cry’s that he couldn’t breath were a result of the fentanyl shutting down his lungs. Not a caused by the knee on his neck.

Mr Branca,
Could you please clear up if there is an legal duty for a police officer to render aid (besides calling for medical) to someone who suffers an injury during a police encounter?

If no legal duty, is there a department policy stating they must render aid?

Assuming everything Chauvin did up to the point of Floyd blacking out was legal, did he break any law or policy by not rendering aid at that point in time? Is this even an element of the alleged crimes?

Thank you!

    There’s a generalized duty to render necessary aid, if practicable to a suspect or prisoner in custody, but the precise nature of the aid that would be reasonable is highly contextual and dependent on the particular circumstances, also as a function of how the officer reasonably perceives the need for aid.

    For example, Chauvin arguably “rendered aid” by calling for a code 2, then a minute or so later code 3 on Floyd (or knowing that the call had been made by other officers present–in any case, that the call was made).

    Floyd’s bloody nose was not a crises in need of immediate care, so it triggered the code 2.

    If the officers believed that Floyd was at imminent risk of death from acute drug overdose and/or excited delirium, they are not equipped to deal with that, call a code 3 and waiting 1-2 minutes on EMS is prudent.

    If Floyd’s heart stops from acute drug overdose, a cop on the street is not fixing that, so again waiting the 1-2 minutes for EMS is prudent.

    If the cause of Floyd’s unconsciousness was Chauvin’s knee, then perhaps CPR might have worked to resuscitate him, but of course the whole defense argument is that it was NOT Chauvin knee that killed Floyd, and if that’s what Chauvin believed then CPR would have been pointless.

      fogflyer in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 30, 2021 at 1:28 pm

      Thank you for that!
      Perhaps you will indulge a follow up question…

      The only potential issue I see with your reasoning there is your statement that CPR would be pointless if Floyd was suffering from an overdose/excited delirium. While the officers may be unequipped to handle that emergency directly, couldn’t one argue that CPR might have kept Floyd alive until the EMTs arrived who may have been able to render aid in the form of Narcan, defibrillation, etc?

      I am also still unclear if any of this is actually relevant to the charges filed?
      Let’s say Floyd’s death was not caused by Chauvin’s knee and even if the restraint may have been a contributing factor, that the restraint was justified up to the point of Floyd going unconscious. If the jury found that the restraint after he was unconscious was not justified (although it may very well have been justified) and even if the restraint had little to no effect on Floyd’s death, could the jury properly find Chauvin guilty of any of the charges filed if they felt he failed in his duty to provide proper aid after Floyd went unconscious?

      I think for many of us, Chauvin’s actions after Floyd appeared to go unconscious is are only concern and I am just unclear if that action/inaction is really even relevant to the charges?

      Thank you again!

        Only can always speculate a narrative consistent with criminal liability.

        In our system of criminal law, however, the defendant’s guilt must be proven beyond any reasonable doubt.

        There’s nothing in the speculation you wrote that appears to meet that threshold, or come anywhere close to it, especially when there are perfectly reasonable alternatives for cause of death than anything Chauvin did, and given the hectic circumstances the officers found themselves in facing an angry mob (even EMS refused to attempt to provide care on scene), and the limitations of Chauvin’s knowledge of Floyd’s actual physiological condition.

        bigskydoc in reply to fogflyer. | March 30, 2021 at 1:51 pm

        Going out on a limb here, but if failure to render aid in a timely fashion was illegal, I can’t imagine any scenario where the state would not have charged him with that. Even in all their digging to find something, anything to hang Chauvin on, they still did not charge him for this. Either it is not illegal, or the crowd was such a clear mitigating circumstance, that the prosecution doesn’t want to go there.

          fogflyer in reply to bigskydoc. | March 30, 2021 at 2:34 pm

          Yeah, that’s kind of what I was trying to get to…
          Does failure to provide aid meet any of the elements of the charged crimes? Is that something the prosecution is even trying to go after, or are they just pursuing the theory that Chauvin’s knee is responsible for Chauvin’s death?

          The former seems to have a much better chance than the latter in my opinion.

          pedanticman in reply to bigskydoc. | March 30, 2021 at 10:40 pm

          @fogflyer. I’m not a lawyer, but I am going to have to say I don’t think so. Failure to provide aid didn’t occur here. Chauvin is not an EMT and he did all he could by calling for assistance Code 3. It’s not his fault that medics took so long to arrive. MPD policy for suspects with suspected excited delirium calls for maximum restraint due to potential for injury to officers, bystanders or the suspect. The restraint should continue until medical personnel arrive. Chauvin held Floyd in that position until medics arrived and were in position to assist. As Ms. Hansen exclaimed, the delay was shockingly abnormal. What else could Chauvin do BUT call for medical Code 3 and restrain him until their arrival?

          As to the knee, I think once actual use-of-force and medical experts make it in to testify, the knee choke being the cause of death will look much more like the carefully-crafted media narrative it is.

          Char Char Binks in reply to bigskydoc. | March 30, 2021 at 11:26 pm

          The ambulance response time was SIX MINUTES, well within ordinary. Hansen CLAIMED it was an extraordinary delay, and implied that it was somehow Chauvin’s fault.

when someone does a job for me that I would never, ever think of doing, I cut them a lot of slack

we are going to end up with either no police or worse, political police

if we continue down this path, destruction will be the only course

    Laser Beam in reply to REDACTED. | March 30, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    Agreed, we ask these men to go out and deal with society’s worst elements. Now on top of that we ask that they do it while being yelled at and filmed by people who blindly, automatically side with criminals if they are of a certain color.

    There used to be more of a societal attitude of gratitude toward cops, and a feeling of “let them handle the rough elements of society, I don’t need to know much about how” – and I’m not saying that attitude couldn’t have drawbacks or lead to abuses, but the alternative we’re trying now of micro-managing and destroying lives like Chauvin’s when he literally did NOTHING even remotely questionable or wrong that day, is going to be far more destructive.

Andrew,

I’m confused as to why Williams was able to offer the testimony on the choke hold and what it does or does not do in the first place. Williams was not certified as an expert, as such he can only give lay witness testimony. Whether a choke on one side of the neck can render someone unconscious seems clearly to fall within the realm of opinion testimony – not sense testimony. Why didn’t the Defense object entirely to Williams offering this opinion?

    Can’t read the mind of defense counsel, but might just have been a strategic call. Remember, by the time jury deliberates, this guy’s testimony will be a month in the past, and will likely have been eclipsed by more authoritative and recent testimony. No sense spending more time with this obviously ill-informed “expert” than one needs to, except to make the jury aware that there’s a difference of opinion as to his technical testimony on the choke hold. The defense can fill in that difference later.

    bigskydoc in reply to GOOCH. | March 30, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    Seems they were giving him enough rope to hang himself with, both emotionally, and factually. He impeached his own testimony in both arenas.

Midfiaudiophile | March 30, 2021 at 1:40 pm

Williams: ( In response to: Did you say “I am going to smack the * out of you”) “Yes… and I meant it”
Minor 1: (In response to: Did you hear any of the bystanders threaten any of the officers?) No.

The Packetman | March 30, 2021 at 3:23 pm

I’m struck by how reluctant these witnesses are to agree with anything the defense says, immediately qualifying anything they say that might possibly sorta be kinda agreeing with the defense.

    Laser Beam in reply to The Packetman. | March 30, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    There are a lot (increasing number) of people in the US who have a hostile, adversarial mindset toward police, the law, the legal system, any sort of societal structure, white people, etc.

    Great trend, should work out really well for our country.

    Char Char Binks in reply to The Packetman. | March 30, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    They think this is how they win.

I’m trying to follow the logic of the prosecution’s strategy. What benefit is there in calling to the stand every person who saw part or all of the events that day? I mean, you need to call some of them – but I’m just wondering if this is over-kill and detrimental to their overall case. You get a number of people drawing the same conclusions (the cops are killing Floyd – or at least letting him die) – but you also get conflicting accounts and pointless repeitition. In a case where there is video from multiple angles, and where expert testimony is going to weigh heavily – all of these lay witnesses telling their stories about how they were there when it happened seems unproductive at best and detrimental at worst.

    Midfiaudiophile in reply to GOOCH. | March 30, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    Mr. Branca, in your end-of-day wrap-up, could you discuss the rules on leading questions in Minnesota in the context of Minor 3’s direct examination and, in particular, the redirect?

    The lawyer was blatantly putting words into the witness’s mouth. “So, you were upset and you thought that maybe it wasn’t a real pulse check because they didn’t change anything they were doing?” “Yes”.

    Why didn’t Nelson object? Why didn’t the judge?

So, at least two people now have testified that the paramedic checked Floyd’s pulse at his neck and that Chauvin didn’t even get off Floyd’s neck while they were doing this.

Now, the purpose of that was to show how horrible and inhumane Chauvin was, but I hope some people on the jury realized that if the paramedic was able to check his pulse without Chauvin moving his knee, then his knee was obviously not restricting his carotid artery (where they actually check the pulse.)

    Excellent point that hadn’t occurred to me. Have to wonder if it occurred to the defense. If it had, I would have expected Nelson to pin down these witnesses on the issue of whether Chauvin moved his knee when EMS checked pulse, establishing firmly that if he didn’t, then knee not on carotid.

    Andy in reply to fogflyer. | March 30, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    EMT protocol is to check the pulse on the corotoid if the patient is unconcious. (at least in my locale). Though if you get it anywhere- your golden because the ticker is ticking.

    Char Char Binks in reply to fogflyer. | March 31, 2021 at 8:41 am

    Not only that, but one witness testified that the police NEVER. Checked for a pulse, until Nelson read the transcript of her police interview the day of floyd’s death when she said they checked his pulse four times.

    That they need to lie to bolster their case shows that prosecutors and their witnesses don’t actually believe that Chauvin is guilty.

Midfiaudiophile | March 30, 2021 at 5:22 pm

Is Hansen intended to be a witness against Officer Chauvin or against Officer Thau?

I don’t think the female firefighter on-scene witness is doing herself any favors by 1) suggesting she wouldn’t be distracted by a 20-person crowd yelling at her and calling her names while she tried to fight a fire and 2) by asserting that the few minutes it took for medical to respond after called (code 3) was unusually long – so much so that there had to be some problem with the call. As she admits, if there was, it was at the dispatch level, so it’s irrelevant, and I don’t think it will strike the average person as reasonable to claim that a few-minutes-response time was demonstrably over long.

The Packetman | March 30, 2021 at 5:46 pm

I don’t think Ms Hansen did too well …

    Midfiaudiophile in reply to The Packetman. | March 30, 2021 at 5:50 pm

    Her direct examination was very moving, and we can tell that it was a very upsetting event for her (as the death of a human being should be, regardless of the cause), but the cross and her hostility and dismissiveness towards defense counsel undid a lot of that goodwill. It was clear that she was just lashing out at the most convenient target rather than trying to help the jury understand what had happened.

      lurker9876 in reply to Midfiaudiophile. | March 30, 2021 at 6:02 pm

      I don’t think her direct examination did her any good. She’s made it very clear that she lacked sufficient background about the incident. She should know that once she offered to help but declined, she should have stayed out of it. Her recommendations of medical help would have done far more harm to George, police officers, EMTs, the fire department, and the civilians. Obviously, her lack of experience was not on her side.

        Joe-dallas in reply to lurker9876. | March 30, 2021 at 7:17 pm

        Lurker _ I am going to disagree your assessment along with the prevailing assessment of Williams the so called expert on MMA.

        Even though she came across (to the educated) as having the expertise of the secretary in a doctors office, Likewise with the MMA expert of choke holds,

        She gets the credited by most of the jury as an expert in first aid solely by her employment in the fire depart. Same with Williams gets credited with being the expert on choking.

          lurker9876 in reply to Joe-dallas. | March 30, 2021 at 7:31 pm

          How did you know what the jury said or felt? I did not think anyone knows what the jury is thinking about or else they would be sequestered. Judge Cahill seems to control the trial quite well.

          Williams is definitely a sidewalk witness and did not do a good job. He is definitely not an expert on the specific and recommended police choke albeit his numerous labeling of different types of chokes. One of his biggest blunders was that the “air choke” or blood choke took seconds to make someone unconscious. His second blunder was the tap.

          Hansen would probably be better off as someone’s secretary. She had no knowledge about the process and she did not know what had happened the prior 15 minutes to her showing up.

          No, neither made the case for the state.

          Joe-dallas in reply to lurker9876. | March 30, 2021 at 8:17 pm

          Lurkr – you and I are both analytical, same with most of commentators on this site. However, the typical juror is far more emotional . My gut feel is that most of the jurors credited both Hansen & Williams as quite knowledgable, if not experts in first aid and choke holds, respectively solely based on Hansen being a Firefighter and williams being involved with MMA.

          Char Char Binks in reply to Joe-dallas. | March 31, 2021 at 8:52 am

          The jury was specifically selected for ignorance and prejudice. Nelson and Williams are no experts, but they know their audience.

        Sanddog in reply to lurker9876. | March 30, 2021 at 11:10 pm

        Nelson was right to ask her what happens when they arrive on the scene when the police are dealing with a suspect and getting her to admit the EMT’s don’t just jump in and push the cops out of the way, they wait until the scene is released to them. That shows she was unreasonable in her demands that they allow her, a person in civilian clothing who claims experience, to take over the scene. She knows the drill but was making unreasonable demands that should be ignored and were unprofessional.

thad_the_man | March 30, 2021 at 5:48 pm

OMG did that blow up fast.

Off topic observation – Based on Hansen’s physical appearance, and demeanor, I would not think is would be a very qualified firefighter. Overweight, not very athletic – firefighter is not a girly man job. the demeanor doesnt come across as someone with the attitude necessary to do the job.

    Sanddog in reply to Joe-dallas. | March 30, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    She’d only been on the job for a year when Floyd died so she’s hardly an expert.

      Joe-dallas in reply to Sanddog. | March 31, 2021 at 8:46 am

      Sanddog – I agree that Hansen is not an expert – However, the jury (at least most of the jurors ) will give her credit as being an expert solely based on her employment as a firefighter and the normal first aid training that comes with being a firefighter. Same with the MMA expert on blood choke holds. the jury is going to assume he is an expert solely because he chokes people.

Johnny Weissmuller | March 30, 2021 at 6:24 pm

Andrew Branca
Donald Williams is not expert witness. He was a sidewalk witness. He drove to Cup store after bass fishing. It was a legal controversy pre-trial to the degree the state could let him talk about his own martial Arts jiu hits experience as it relates to the police restraint techniques. During the 17 year old testimony there is a picture of about 8 people on the sidewalk. Mr Williams is the shorter black man in black t-shirt, taller man trying to calm him down with hand on Williams t-shirt. Great pic for your story today. State is sneaky & dishonest.

Defence lawyer: “So you would have absolutely no idea that an ambulance was called three minutes before you arrived?”

CIA MMA Blood Choke Expert: “Don’t know anything about that.”

Defence lawyer: “You would have had no idea that an ambulance was stepped up to code 3, which means get here quick, two minutes before you arrived?”

CIA MMA Blood Choke Expert: “No recollection to any of that.”

KA-BOOM! Hopefully the jury wasn’t sleeping.

    lurker9876 in reply to BillyHW. | March 30, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    The state witnesses thought they were smarter than the police, EMTs, dispatch, and Fire. They made an assumption that Floyd was already dead during those 9 minutes before he was lifted onto the gurney and loaded into the ambulance. After the EMTs arrived, they signaled to Floyd to get up and get on the gurney and Floyd responded?

    The state prosecutors tried very hard to sell a calm peaceful crowd. Only they did not make the sell. Williams and Hansen made it very clear of their behavior.

      lurker9876 in reply to lurker9876. | March 30, 2021 at 8:06 pm

      Hansen admitted that she called Tau a bitch. Williams admitted getting off the curb but stopped by Tau. Both said that the crowd was screaming and yelling very loud. Williams had trouble admitting that he was angry. Hansen admitted being emotional – angry, distressed, upset, et al.

        Gunner75 in reply to lurker9876. | March 30, 2021 at 9:50 pm

        Her station house Chief should ream her out for her behavior that day. Totally unprofessional, attempting to insert herself into this situation, not knowing anything about what had happened prior to her interference, and then verbally accosting officers. She’s been a Firefighter for a minute, she has a lot to learn.

          fogflyer in reply to Gunner75. | March 30, 2021 at 10:36 pm

          And don’t forget she called 911 for a non-emergency.
          A first responder should know better. She would get an ass-chewing for that and for interfering with the police if she were under my command.

      nacnud62 in reply to lurker9876. | March 30, 2021 at 9:50 pm

      Floyd was dead for those last nearly 3 minutes. No pulse, not breathing, not moving, lost bladder control early in the “neck restraint.” Out of hospital CPR has a pretty low success rate anyway, but the 3-4 minutes that Floyd was anoxic likely snuffed out what little chance he had at that point. If anything dooms Chauvin, that is it.

        lurker9876 in reply to nacnud62. | March 30, 2021 at 10:57 pm

        Day 1 and Day 2 have not indicated when Floyd died. But one of the testimonies said that he or she heard the EMTs tell Floyd to get up and get into the ambulance.

        Need the time of expiration and correlate to the overall timeline.

        And both the prosecution and defense team have stated that Floyd took an overdose of fentanyl and meth. Fentanyl 3X his weight and very, very dangerous.

        The Autopsy report indicated that Floyd did not die from the “knee hold”.

        BillyHW in reply to nacnud62. | March 30, 2021 at 11:13 pm

        Please stop deliberately lying about the time of death.

        “The decedent’s antemortem peripheral blood smear (made from a complete blood count collected 5/25/20 at 9:00 p.m.) was reviewed by an expert HHC hematopathologist at the Medical Examiner’s request. This review found no evidence of antemortem sickling.”

        Google what “ante” means if you have to.

        https://web.archive.org/web/20200604025024/https://www.hennepin.us/-/media/hennepinus/residents/public-safety/documents/Autopsy_2020-3700_Floyd.pdf?la=en&hash=1DD37B049B99FAE35949ADD1D04331BD45A86D01

          lurker9876 in reply to BillyHW. | March 30, 2021 at 11:29 pm

          I am not lying at all. It did not come up in day 1 and day 2 at all. Hansen and Williams made their own assumptions and they were not in the position to declare it.

          BillyHW in reply to lurker9876. | March 30, 2021 at 11:58 pm

          Next to my name you can see who it is I’m replying to. Welcome to the internet.

          lurker9876 in reply to BillyHW. | March 31, 2021 at 9:54 am

          Sorry, BillyHW. I followed the link to the Autopsy Report and the date and hour of death was explicitly stated: 05/25/20 9:25 pm. The autopsy began the next day at 9:25 am. So he was alive at load and go AND during arrival at the hospital. What time was the arrival at the hospital? I’m willing to bet that the EMTs administered NARCAN, oxygen, and some CPR methods in transit to the hospital.

          lurker9876 in reply to BillyHW. | March 31, 2021 at 10:05 am

          The fact that Floyd did have a similar incident a few years prior and was revived from it. This begs the question whether a body could survive subsequent incidents with continuing drug abuse and overdoses.

          One of the things that Hansen kept saying was how long it took the ambulance to show up (one minute late?). She seems to imply that had the EMTs showed up, they could’ve saved him. Could they have saved him by showing up even before the police issued a clear signal? The answer cannot be determined but Hansen seems to have a determined answer. I hope the jury sees through her.

          Thanks for the link, BillyHW.

        artichoke in reply to nacnud62. | March 31, 2021 at 11:35 am

        He was limp, it looked like unconscious or dead — although there was the absence of twitches that usually happen when someone dies. What evidence do you have that he had no pulse and no breathing? Certainly nobody was taking his pulse, we can see it on the video, so you’re making that up.

          lurker9876 in reply to artichoke. | March 31, 2021 at 1:24 pm

          Nope. Not making stuff up. First of all, in Hansen’s testimonies to the BCA, she indicated that Floyd’s pulse was checked 4 times (and probably more before she got there). When she had to read her transcripts, she changed her tune.

          AND do read the Autopsy Report. It says that the date and hour of death was 5.25.2021 at 9:25 pm.

          There might have been a mention of time of EMT arrival in yesterday’s testimonies. I don’t remember the exact time but it definitely was not 9:25 pm since Floyd was already at the hospital.

          I would not be surprised if those EMTs will be called to the stand and testify the condition of Floyd and what kind of treatments they performed on him while in transit to the hospital. Did they give Floyd NARCAN and put him on oxygen and performed CPR methods? Did they say Floyd was still breathing at the time of arrival of the hospital?

          AND that the doctors and nurses at the hospital should be called to the stand and explain Floyd’s conditions and what they did to treat him.

          These state witnesses made assumptions and they were not in the position to make those assumptions nor assessments.

          The “time of death” on such documents is often merely when the death was officially CALLED, not necessarily when the death physiologically OCCURRED. If someone is brought into the hospital unresponsive, staff may try to resuscitate, and if unsuccessful call the death at the time they stopped trying to bring the patient back–physiologically , that patient may well have already been dead when they arrived at the hospital. The person responsible for notating the time of death can’t put down that actual physiological time of death, because it’s undetermined, so as a matter of practice they put down the time that they decided the patient was dead-dead.

          lurker9876 in reply to artichoke. | March 31, 2021 at 4:30 pm

          I get that. That is why I added additional comments about the EMT and emergency doctor reports. What time did the EMT pick him up and what time did they arrive at the hospital (should be few minutes)? What did they do to him in transit to the hospital? Give him NARCAN, epiniphren, oxygen, CPR/electric pads? What were his conditions?

          And the doctor reports – what time did they take over and what did they do to him? What were his conditions?

          Back to the Williams testimony when he said that people can get back after being unconscious. I remember reading about the excited delirium and other situations where they do come back and some fight back. Sometimes in a panic mode.

          Why am I saying this? Well, it will make sense in a few days.

The CIA MMA Champion Choke Holder actually called the police officers “animals” on the stand. That’s totally going to go over well with the jury.

    artichoke in reply to BillyHW. | March 31, 2021 at 10:59 am

    It will if there’s no official pushback. The jury didn’t even hear an objection did it? And the jury is instructed to consider only what it hears in that courtroom.

George_Kaplan | March 30, 2021 at 8:06 pm

All I can say is I’m glad I’m not on that jury!!!

Hansen appears argumentative, possibly even activist. She seemed to be trying to avoid directly answering questions and kept mentioning that ‘the cops’ or Chauvin killed Floyd, or skewing her answers in that fashion.

She was a random passerby who claimed, without evidence, to be a firefighter. Naturally police did not want her interference with a man who had been resisting arrest. She admits she was abusive and at times forceful in trying to gain access to Floyd. Given a hostile crowd she was another distraction the cops didn’t need.

Williams, another witnessmember of the crowd, likewise admits he had to be prevented from interfering with the arrest. He rang 911 claiming Floyd wasn’t resisting arrest, and the cops were trying to kill him. Again the criticism doesn’t start from the point the police tried to arrest Floyd, only from the point that he was on the ground and a hostile crowd starting to form. Like Hansen, Williams abused the police.

Between the OD defence, and the issue of abusive citizens distracting policeforcing them to concentrate on their own safety rather than Floyd’s, the murder charges seem unlikely to stick. The manslaughter charge will likely be the hardest to beat – was Chauvin just doing his job?

I’m sorry but neither one of these people are credible. The “MMA Fighter” is nothing more than a sidewalk loudmouth that is commonly found in situations like this. The fact that he claims to have trained with CIA should make people question either his ability to detect when someone is deceiving him or the veracity of anything he says. As to the firefighter; she was a firefighter for all of 1 year at the time of the incident and is presenting herself as the be all know all of a volatile Law Enforcement activity to include attempting to insert herself into the situation with ZERO knowledge of what was happening other than she didn’t like it. She seems to be an activist with an axe to grind with the Cops. No doubt she’s a real peach at the station house.

    Char Char Binks in reply to Gunner75. | March 31, 2021 at 8:31 am

    Nelson show up at the arrest in street clothes, so how would the police have any idea that she was an EMT as she claimed? Then she testified IN UNIFORM, blatantly trying to pass herself off as an expert and an authoritaty.

We still getting the podcast tonight?

Another day of political theater. Thanks Mr Branca for giving us all the details! Tough job for sure.

While Nelson forced Williams and Hansen to admit to their lies, why weren’t any perjury charges? Or this is just to destroy their credibility? Nelson managed to do a fantastic job destroying their credibility.

The so-called MMA expert is quoted as saying “I felt the officer on top was shimmying to actually get the final choke in while he was on top,” said Williams, referring to his training as a mixed martial arts fighter to call such a hold a “blood chokehold.”

This is not about feelings! By refusing to raise the Daubert objection, the defense may have fatally given away the issue. Was Chauvin following his training during that time that looked so awful on the video? Surely not if he was shimmying for a blood chokehold.

I’ve heard from experienced MMA people that this guy is no expert.

Can defense counsel go back after a short time, like today, to raise this objection? If not, Chauvin should personally approach the bench and request a mistrial on the basis of incompetent counsel.

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