Wednesday, October 27News That Matters

Chauvin’s use of force for so long was ‘totally unnecessary,’ Minneapolis homicide unit leader says

Jon Curtis Edwards, a sergeant with the Minneapolis Police, just took the stand in the trial of former officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged in the death of George Floyd.

He’s been with the department since 2007, he testified. The prosecution is asking him details about the crime scene and reviewing footage from his body camera.

Edwards was an overnight sergeant working at the department’s third precinct the night Floyd died. 

Edwards worked the shift after Sgt. David Pleoger, who testified Thursday that the force being used by Chauvin on Floyd should have stopped earlier. 

Edwards told the court Pleoger called him and asked him to report to the scene of Floyd’s arrest at Cup Foods. The sergeant said he went to the location of the incident to “secure that area” and make contact with any “officers that were there on the scene still.”

Edwards said that he arrived to scene — 38th and Chicago — around 9:35 p.m. ET and only saw two officers there: J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane in their police car. “There weren’t many other people around when I arrived there,” he noted.

Edwards said he had his body camera activated when he arrived, but neither officer had their body camera on when he met them. He asked both of them to activate them.

The officers told Edwards where the incident with Floyd took place, and he instructed them to place crime scene tape around the area “so that we could preserve any potential evidence that was there.”

Other officers arrived, Edwards instructed them to guard the scene and look for witnesses. 

He secured Kueng and Lane’s police car as well as the vehicle Floyd was driving until investigators came and towed them away.  

Inside Cup Foods, Edwards spoke with the manager, he testified. 

Two homicide officers arrived at the scene, including Sgt. Robert Dale and Lt. Richard Zimmerman, who took command of the scene and asked for more officers and a crime scene log. Dale later told Edwards that Floyd had died, he testified.

Lane and Kueng were separately taken to city hall to be questioned. 

Special Agent Michael Phill with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) arrived and took over the scene around 11pm, Edwards testified.

After the BCA completed their investigation, Edwards helped take down the police tape and left the scene.

The defense did not cross examine Edwards.