Return to Transcripts main page


Soon, Day 7 of Testimony in Derek Chauvin Trial Resumes; Use- of-Force Instructor: Should Use "Least Amount of Force" That Is Reasonable for Situation; Prosecution Questions Police Medical Response Coordinator; Defense Cross Examines Medical Response Coordinator. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired April 6, 2021 - 14:30   ET



CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: So what Chauvin did, the knee to the neck for that extended period of time, was certain outside of policy, outside of training that I've ever seen.

I think what they're doing, when it comes to the training -- that was a topic earlier about how much are they going to do -- they're trying to show that training in MPD is not a haphazard thing.

It's structured. It's based on policy. It's based on best practices. It's uniform. One group of officers don't get something totally different from another group of officers. I think it's important that they establish that.

As far as the chief yesterday, and the lieutenant and sergeant today, that could have been a scheduling issue. I'm sure Chief Arradondo had to clear his calendar for an entire day. That was not an easy thing to do.

And he may have been taken yesterday because I would think that they probably would have wanted him last to put the finishing touches on it.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: I think that's an interesting point.

Elie, I'm curious your thoughts on that, number one. And number two, we don't know which witnesses will be up next to testify.

Do you think they stay in this similar expert questioning pattern or move on?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Commissioner Ramsey makes an excellent point there. When you present a case to a jury, you have to think carefully about the ordering of your witnesses.

You want to start with someone who is solid and strong. If you think back to last week, the prosecution started with that 911 dispatcher who was very strong. And you want to finish strong.

And I agree. If I had my way here, and I was putting this case on, I would want that chief last. As the commissioner said, real life tends to interfere and sometimes you have to make the best of it.

Where is the prosecution going now?


HONIG: I get the distinct sense they are winding up their use-of- force portion of the case.

Like I said, we've heard from six different witnesses, all of whom who have been strong and clear. And I think very soon we'll move into the medical causation of the argument. We may hear from the medical examiners about cause of death.

We've seen a preview of that but I think we're getting into that in earnest soon.

BALDWIN: Before they move onto that, Commissioner Ramsey, you bring up Chief Arradondo yesterday who was just pretty extraordinary.

We talked a bit about -- I wanted to talk to the two of you after all of this testimony but it kept going.

But the one -- oh, here's the judge.

Hang on, gentlemen. Just as I'm about to ask you a question about his point about mentioning respect and dignity so much and talking about the pillar of the sanctity of life if you are a Minneapolis police officer.

I'm just watching this judge. Here we go.


The State calls Nicole Mackenzie.


Do you swear or affirm, under penalty of perjury, the testimony you're about to give will be the truth and the whole truth?


CAHILL: Please be seated.

If you feel comfortable doing so, we prefer that you take your mask off.

MACKENZIE: Certainly.

CAHILL: And before we begin, actually, will you grab me that stylus that's there.

If you could begin by giving us your full name spelling each of your names.

MACKENZIE: Nicole Mackenzie. N-I-C-O-L-E, last name Mackenzie, M-A-C- K-E-N-Z-I-E.

CAHILL: Mr. Schleicher?

SCHLEICHER: Good afternoon.

MACKENZIE: Good afternoon.

SCHLEICHER: How are you employed?

MACKENZIE: I'm employed by the Minneapolis Police Department.

SCHLEICHER: How long have you been employed by the police department?

MACKENZIE: About six years.

SCHLEICHER: What is your current role there?

MACKENZIE: I'm a police officer.

SCHLEICHER: Do you have a specific duty assignment?

MACKENZIE: I do. I'm the medical support coordinator for the department.

SCHLEICHER: All right. Before we talk about that role, I would like you to share a little bit about yourself with the jury.

How long have you been a police officer or in law enforcement?

MACKENZIE: I've been in law enforcement for about six years, all with the Minneapolis Police Department.

SCHLEICHER: And did you have a career prior to going into law enforcement?

MACKENZIE: I did, yes. I worked in human resources.

SCHLEICHER: What's your educational background?

MACKENZIE: I have an associate's degree in human resources. I have a bachelor's degree in business. I'm an EMT. I also have my law enforcement certificate. And I'm also an EMR instructor.

SCHLEICHER: You worked in human resources. That was your original plan?


SCHLEICHER: How long have you wanted to be a police officer? MACKENZIE: Actually, it's something I always wanted to do. I just

talked myself out of it one way or another. But eventually found my way back.

SCHLEICHER: Can you please tell the jury how you entered law enforcement? Did you go through the academy?

MACKENZIE: I did, yes. I came in as a cadet, which means that the department sponsors the education components to make you eligible for the POST-exam in the state of Minnesota.


SCHLEICHER: And how long of a program was that?

MACKENZIE: I would say -- I think it was about nine months total.

SCHLEICHER: After you completed, I guess, the classroom portion of the academy, did you go through field training?


SCHLEICHER: How long was that process?

MACKENZIE: The field training at that time was about five and half, six months.

SCHLEICHER: As an officer with the Minneapolis Police Department, are you familiar with some of the officers who also work in the department?


SCHLEICHER: Are you familiar with the name Derek Chauvin?


SCHLEICHER: How are you familiar with that name?

MACKENZIE: He was actually one of my fellow FTOs for one day while I was on FTO. I think my FTO was sick. But also he's attended my training I've conducted at the department.

SCHLEICHER: All right. Would you recognize him if you saw him?


SCHLEICHER: Do you see him in the courtroom today?

MACKENZIE: Yes, sir.

SCHLEICHER: Would you please point to him and describe what he's wearing?

MACKENZIE: Yes. The gentleman in the light-gray suit.

SCHLEICHER: All right.

May the record reflect the witness has identified the defendant?

CAHILL: Any objection?


CAHILL: It will.

SCHLEICHER: You indicated that you're the medical support coordinator, is that right?

MACKENZIE: Yes, sir.

SCHLEICHER: Can you please describe for the jury what that role entails?

MACKENZIE: Certainly. There's a couple of different components to it. Primarily, it's going to be the first aid education that all of the officers receive.

I do the training for the academy, both the recruits and cadets, as well as the in-service, which is more like the continuing education for officers. And I'm also administer of the NARCAN program that we have.

SCHLEICHER: What is the NARCAN program?

MACKENZIE: The NARCAN program is the training and administration of a pharmaceutical to use to temporarily reduce opioid overdoses.

SCHLEICHER: Is NARCAN, is that something that officers have available to them?

MACKENZIE: Yes, sir.

SCHLEICHER: And you provide the specific training regarding the use of NARCAN?


SCHLEICHER: And also, you provide medical training both at the academy and at in-service, is that right?


SCHLEICHER: Are you familiar with the requirements from the department and the POST-requirements for how often officers are supposed to train in medical procedures?

MACKENZIE: Yes. With the Minnesota POST board, when you're able to apply for the examination, you do have to have your EMR certification, and that's emergency medical responder.

Beyond that, the POST board doesn't require anything specific. But with the Minneapolis Police Department, we do continuing ed every year on medical-related topics.

SCHLEICHER: You said the POST board doesn't require anything more specific. Can you explain that?

MACKENZIE: With their education requirements, as far as continuing ed, as long as you met the required minimum hours, there are certain topics they require you to complete. Other ones.

With the Minneapolis Police Department, we go above and beyond what the POST board requires. So that's where we add in extra medical training.

SCHLEICHER: You do that every year?


SCHLEICHER: Are police officers required to have a specific CPR card?

MACKENZIE: Not a card, no. You're not required to have that, beyond your initial POST certification.

SCHLEICHER: When you're initially POST certified, you need one?

MACKENZIE: Correct. That's part of the certification required to be eligible to take the POST exam.

SCHLEICHER: And some officers will continue to obtain the CPR card, is that right?


SCHLEICHER: Do you know what is required in order to obtain that card?

MACKENZIE: It's a four-hour test. There's a written test and a skills examination test out.

SCHLEICHER: What does it cover?

MACKENZIE: It includes adult CPR, infant CPR, as well as choking.

SCHLEICHER: At this time, I would like to display to the witness, not to the jury, exhibit 277 for identification.

If you look at what's been marked for identification as exhibit 277, does that appear to be an American Heart Association CPR card?


SCHLEICHER: Is that the type of card that you get issued if you complete the four-hour course you just mentioned?


SCHLEICHER: While it's not a required, some officers continue them. And those cards are maintained in the records of the Minneapolis Police Department?

MACKENZIE: If they took a full course through the Minneapolis Police Department, we would be the record holder.

SCHLEICHER: All right.

And then, if we can look at exhibit 278.


That also appears to be a CPR card just with a different year?


SCHLEICHER: I'll offer exhibits 277 and 278.

CAHILL: Any objection?

NELSON: No, Your Honor.

CAHILL: And 277 and 278 are received.

SCHLEICHER: If we could publish exhibit 277. And highlight the portion.

Does this appear to be a Heart Saver CPR card issued to Derek Chauvin, three -- March 2012 through March 2014?


SCHLEICHER: If we could display exhibit 278.

Again, CPR card issued to the defendant, from January 2014 to January 2016, is that right?

MACKENZIE: That's correct.

SCHLEICHER: And then, when you provide the training, the medical training to law enforcement officers, does that training get reported into the workforce system to be able to report to the POST board?


SCHLEICHER: Now, when did you start personally delivering this training?

MACKENZIE: I have been a part-time instructor since 2017. And I assumed the full-time position January of 2020.

SCHLEICHER: How much times do you think you've provided this training, this in-service training to law enforcement officers?

MACKENZIE: CPR, specifically?


MACKENZIE: I would say upwards of 20 to 30 sessions.

SCHLEICHER: And do you use a slide deck or a PowerPoint to do your medical presentation every year?


SCHLEICHER: If I could show you exhibit 111, just to the witness, not to the jury.

Exhibit 111, do you recognize what appears to be the first part of the slide deck?


SCHLEICHER: If we could turn to the second page of 111.

Does that appear to have -- it says MPD CPR. Is that right?


SCHLEICHER: Have you personally delivered this slide deck before?


SCHLEICHER: Approximately how many times?

MACKENZIE: This was in-service of 2019. And my best estimation, this was probably carried out over the course of 12 sessions or so, 12 to 15 sessions. And I was responsible for about a third of them.

SCHLEICHER: Did the defendant attend any of your sessions?

MACKENZIE: I am not sure.

SCHLEICHER: But you were providing the block of training that everyone consistently took back in the in-service in 2019?

MACKENZIE: Correct. I was the assistant instructor here and I ran one of the skill stations. So, theoretically, everyone from the department would have come through my skill station at some point.

SCHLEICHER: Now, at this time -- you can take that down.

I'll offer exhibit 111.

CAHILL: Any objection?

NELSON: No, Your Honor.

CAHILL: And 111 is received.

SCHLEICHER: In general terms, then, can you provide the jury an overview of the specific medical training that you provide to law enforcement officers on an annual basis?

MACKENZIE: For in-service specifically? SCHLEICHER: For in-service, yes.

MACKENZIE: OK. We do offer a wide variety of different trainings depending on how many are going to be available to us in a year.

But at a minimum, every year, we are touching on CPR. And then, alternate years, we're going over a refresher class on NARCAN. That's the minimum standard.

If we have more training spots available to us, we can add in more classes.

SCHLEICHER: Are you aware whether the Minneapolis Police Department has a specific policy regarding rendering emergency aid?


SCHLEICHER: Could you please provide the jury a high-level overview of what that policy requires?

MACKENZIE: Certainly. High-level summary of our first aid policy is going to be requesting EMS resources to anybody that needs it or anybody who requests it. And also rendering first aid that's consistent with your training that you've received.

SCHLEICHER: And does the policy allow you to do one or the other? Can you just call for the ambulance and not do the emergency medical procedures?

MACKENZIE: It depends on the situation specifically. If there was really no need for immediate first aid, maybe a small cut or abrasion, it would be then appropriate to just wait for EMS to arrive. If it's a critical situation, you have to do both.

SCHLEICHER: I would like you now to walk us through some of the specific training that you provided.


We'll use exhibit 111 to do so.

If you could publish exhibit 111, starting at page six.

Now let's go back to page one.

Why don't you explain page one of this?

MACKENZIE: So this is an image of a clip that's taken from the classic movie "Dumb and Dumber." And this is a video clip we show at the beginning of training. It's more or less just a light-hearted way to get people a little bit more engaged in the class. You know, it's --

SCHLEICHER: Not a substantive slide?

MACKENZIE: No, absolutely not. SCHLEICHER: All right.

Now, I would like to then cover the substantive portions.

If you go to page six and review the portion of the slide deck that says "agenda."

Please describe to the jury each of these different portions of the training that you provide.

MACKENZIE: Certainly.

So this block of training was primarily focused on CPR, but we did throw in a couple extra pieces of information because we had the time available to us.

So we just briefly touched on other things we had already taught, which was tactical combat casualty care. That's basically rendering aid for more traumatic injuries, if you will.

We also provided an update on our NARCAN program as far as usage and maybe things we had learned since we had rolled it out. And then the remainder of the time was focused on the full CPR course.

SCHLEICHER: All right.

If you could go to page 21 of exhibit 111.

And for the jury, would you please describe, using this slide, just walk us through what specific training you provide the Minneapolis Police Department as it pertains to CPR.

MACKENZIE: OK. When we're called to the scene where there's some kind of medical situation going on, maybe illness or injury, whatever it happens to be, we have a little bit a pneumonic that we walk through to make sure we're covering all of the basics.

When you encounter somebody that appears to be unconscious, we start with an acronym, called ABPU - that's ABPU. We walk through that acronym to determine the level of responsiveness. And then we work through the "A," "B"s, and "C"s, which is airways, breathing and circulation.

SCHLEICHER: I'd like to lease go to the next page, 22.

ABPU, could you please walk through the jury through this assessment tool?

SCHLEICHER: Certainly.

So when you are determining someone's level of responsiveness, you walk through this as your model to see where they land.

So if someone is alert, that means that as soon as I walk into the room and they look at me, I determine, OK, that person is alert. I don't really need to go any further. Verbal would be maybe just yelling toward someone or trying to get

their attention, something like that, to see if they respond to verbal stimuli.

And if you don't get a response there, you move on to the "P, which is pain. That's going to be something like, for instance, if you grab the base of the fingernail and press against it, you look for a response that someone would normally pull away from.

We're not talking about anything that would cause any injury, per se, but just pain stimulus to see if they pull away from you or something like that.

If they don't respond, then you determine that person is unresponsive.

SCHLEICHER: I would like to talk about -- have you talk about the "P," the painful stimuli, briefly.

It sounds like in the assessment tool what the person is doing, the trainee is doing, is applying a painful stimulus to see if the person reacts, is that right?

MACKENZIE: That is correct.

SCHLEICHER: Is it possible to determine someone's level of responsiveness without intentionally or, should I say, without inflicting pain for the purpose of checking stimuli?

So, for example, just observing whether the person is continuing to react to some kind of painful stimulus?

MACKENZIE: Can you rephrase that?


If you came upon an individual who was injured, for example, and crying out or manifesting some sort of pain as a result of the injury, but at some point they stop being verbal and stop responding to that pain, could that potentially be a sign of non-responsiveness?

MACKENZIE: Correct, yes.


Once you determine an individual is unresponsive, then what do you do?

MACKENZIE: Then you walk through the next set of acronyms, which is your "A," "B"s and "C"s.


SCHLEICHER: If you could return to page 21, please.

OK. And the "A," "B"s and "C"s, that's airway, breathing and circulation? Is that correct?

MACKENZIE: That's correct.

SCHLEICHER: And if you could go to page 23.

Can you please describe to the jury, then, what you train officers to do based on this slide within exhibit 111?

SCHLEICHER: Certainly.

After you determine their level of responsiveness, if they're unresponsive, you're going to first address their airway. And that means just putting them in the most ideal physical position where their airway can be most in line as possible.

SCHLEICHER: And then what's the next step?

MACKENZIE: Tilting up the head slightly. Whether you use a head tilt chin lift or jaw-thrust maneuver to open up their airway.

And beyond that is checking for breathing. And if you don't see chest rise, it's just a matter of putting the hand on the center of the chest and seeing if there was any kind of air moving up and down.

SCHLEICHER: All right.

And then what's the next step?

MACKENZIE: The last is circulation. So that's where we're checking the carotid pulse, underneath the jaw.

SCHLEICHER: Are there other ways officers are trained to check for pulse other than the carotid?

MACKENZIE: Yes, absolutely. You can check here at your wrist. There are multiple points on your body where you can check them. But this is, by far and away, the most important.

SCHLEICHER: What are officers trained to do if they are unable to find a pulse?

MACKENZIE: If you don't have a pulse on a person, you will immediately start CPR.

SCHLEICHER: Now, I want you to go back to the concept of checking for breathing. You indicated that you can look for the chest rising and falling, is that right?

MACKENZIE: Uh-huh. Yes. Yes.

SCHLEICHER: All right.

Do you train officers that -- as part of your training, do you train officers that, if a person can talk, that means they can breathe?


SCHLEICHER: OK. Why not? MACKENZIE: Well, that would be incomplete to say because there's

possible -- you know, there's the possibility that somebody could be in respiratory distress and still being able to verbalize it.

Just because they're speaking doesn't mean they're breathing adequately.

SCHLEICHER: All right.

And getting back to circulation, you indicated that if the officer cannot find a pulse, they're to start CPR, is that correct?


SCHLEICHER: And describe what is done to start CPR.

MACKENZIE: So, to start CPR, if you're starting that, if you haven't already contacted EMS to get them en route, you would do that immediately.

Then it's a matter of just interlocking your fingers and you go center of the chest, and then you, you know, push down about a third of the depth on that person at the rate of about 100 beats per minute.

SCHLEICHER: And is this something -- again, getting back to the MPD policy that the officer is trained that they're required to do while they're waiting for the ambulance?


SCHLEICHER: And when is the officer supposed to stop the CPR?

MACKENZIE: When you've been relieved by somebody with a higher level of training than you or maybe if there's some signs of death or if you're just -- if you've been doing it for a while if you were absolutely physically exhausted from doing CPR.

SCHLEICHER: If you can display page 27 of the exhibit.

And officers are specifically trained on this, is that right?


SCHLEICHER: It can be when the subject becomes responsive or wakes up?


SCHLEICHER: Or someone else takes over? Or as you've stated, it's not safe or you physically can't do it anymore, is that correct?



Is this consistent then with the training you provide every year to each and every law enforcement officer who is recorded as having taken this training during in-service?


SCHLEICHER: All right. I have nothing further.

Thank you, Your Honor.

CAHILL: Mr. Nelson?

BALDWIN: All right, Elie, what do you think so far?

HONIG: So, I think what the prosecution is trying to do here is draw a link to something we heard yesterday.


First of all, remember, the treating physician in the E.R. testified that every minute, every second that passes in these kinds of situations is literally life or death.

And one of the officers testified yesterday as well that police officers have an obligation -- that was his exact word, it rings in my head -- an obligation to render emergency medical care in a situation like this.

And I think they're sort of closing that loop out with this witness, who was in charge of the emergency medical training for the police department.

BALDWIN: And so what should we expect from the defense?

HONIG: I'm not sure they're going to cross her at all, actually. I'm not sure there's much to it.

BALDWIN: It looks like -- are they chatting about whether they want to or not or --

HONIG: Yes. So, we've seen seeing this throughout the trial. The judge will typically give the defense in a situation like this a few moments to confer.

And I think the conversation is, is it worth it? Is there anything we can get out of this witness? Is there anything to help our case or is it better to say, we're good.

Look to the jury like nothing that she just said concerns you and move on to the next. That's a common strategic conversation that happens here.

BALDWIN: Commissioner Ramsey, you want to weigh in on what we've heard from here so far?.

RAMSEY: Well, I think it just reaffirms duty of care. That he had an obligation to perform some level of care, CPR in this case, for an individual who was unresponsive.

Clearly, there was a point in time when George Floyd was unresponsive.

BALDWIN: OK. Here we go.

RAMSEY: And if they had checked his pulse -- OK.

BALDWIN: Let's listen back in.

NELSON: Sorry about that, ma'am.

MACKENZIE: No worries.

NELSON: All right, I think I'm ready now.

Thank you for joining us today.

Just a few follow-up questions.

You have been with the Minneapolis Police Department for about six years at this point?


NELSON: And prior to that, you said you were an EMT as well, right?


NELSON: Now, as far as the Minneapolis Police Department is concerned, there are -- officers are trained essentially as first responders, correct?

MACKENZIE: Correct. With the EMR certification.

NELSON: Right.

Emergency --

MACKENZIE: Medical responder.

NELSON: So sort of -- it's a lower level of medical training, correct?

MACKENZIE: Then an EMT, that is correct.

NELSON: Right. So you may go to a CPR class, then you have your first responder, and then an EMT/paramedic, correct?

MACKENZIE: That would be a natural progression, yes.

NELSON: All right.

And so you had experience. Did you work as an EMT as well as a --


NELSON: OK. So you have experience both as a police officer as well as an EMT, correct? MACKENZIE: Correct.

NELSON: Now, you testified that part of your role now is running the medical program, is to present officers with information as to multiple medical issues that they may encounter?


NELSON: It's not just limited to first aid or first responder, you know, CPR-type stuff, correct?

MACKENZIE: No. We also teach wellness classes, whether it's sleep, nutrition. We have a wide variety of classes.

NELSON: And you have classes on topics including excited delirium?


NELSON: And you have topics including the administration of NARCAN?


NELSON: And officers -- are all Minneapolis police officers permitted to carry NARCAN, permitted they have the training?


NELSON: And do all Minneapolis police officers receive that training?


NELSON: So some of these medical topics, at these continuing education classes, they may come up an hour here or a half hour there, during an in-service, correct?

MACKENZIE: Depends on the topic, yes.

NELSON: So, the EMR stuff is kind of a stand-alone class. That's a longer class, right?

MACKENZIE: Correct. That -- that's basically your initial medical training as, you know, you're required to get as your POST certification. That's about a 40-hour class.

NELSON: And then you'll have refresher classes on that stuff as well, correct?

MACKENZIE: It will continue on the same topics. But the Minneapolis Police Department doesn't require officers to keep their EMR certification.

NELSON: OK. All right.

And so the certification that we saw of Mr. Chauvin had expiring in 2016, I believe?



And are officers required to then have CPR every two years after that?

MACKENZIE: Yes. We do CPR classes on a rotating basis. So every other year, they go through CPR.


NELSON: All right.

Now, I would like to talk to you about a couple of the Minneapolis policies, if we could.