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Sgt. Jody Stiger of L.A.P.D. Returns to Stand in Chauvin Trial

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Sgt. Jody Stiger of the Los Angeles Police Department, who is expected to be the only outside expert to testify for the state about police training and use of force, returned to the stand on Wednesday.

Sergeant Stiger said Wednesday that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was using “deadly force” by pinning George Floyd on the ground at a time that “no force” should have been used. He said the pressure of Chauvin’s body weight could have caused “positional asphyxia, which could cause death.”

Sergeant Stiger said that even being handcuffed and in a prone position can make it harder to breathe. “When you add body weight to that, it just increases the possibility of death,” he said.

On Tuesday, Sergeant Stiger was asked directly about Mr. Chauvin’s actions in the arrest, and he was blunt: “My opinion was that the force was excessive.”

Sergeant Stiger, a former Marine, joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1993, according to a spokeswoman for the department. He holds the rank of sergeant II and serves as an aide to the office of the Inspector General, the body that oversees the police department and conducts performance audits, reviews use-of-force incidents and handles complaints of officer misconduct. He is the only sworn officer on staff.

Sergeant Stiger served as a tactics instructor for in-service training for Los Angeles police officers for six years, during which he provided training regarding use-of-force policy and state law to about 3,000 officers, he said during his testimony.

Sergeant Stiger was paid a flat fee of $10,000, as well as a trial fee, to review reports, video footage of the incident, training policies and other materials and ultimately make a judgment about whether the use of force by Mr. Chauvin was appropriate.

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