A homicide lieutenant — the most senior member of the Minneapolis Police Department — told jurors Friday that kneeling on the neck of someone who is handcuffed and flat on the ground is “deadly force” and was “totally unnecessary.”
Lt. Richard Zimmerman, a 36-year veteran of the department, delivered the damning testimony on the fifth day of ex-officer Derek Chauvin’s trial for the alleged murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, after Floyd passed a counterfeit $20 bill.
“Have you ever, in all the years you’ve been working for Minneapolis Police Department, been trained to kneel on the neck of someone who is handcuffed behind their back in the prone position?” asked Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank in Hennepin County District Court.
“No, I haven’t,” replied Zimmerman, as Chauvin, 45, furiously scribbled notes on a yellow legal pad. “That would be the top tier, the deadly force … because if you kneel on a person’s neck, that could