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Day Seven Of The Witness Testimony In Derek Chauvin Trial. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired April 6, 2021 - 15:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[15:30:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: We will take you back to the courtroom in that Derek Chauvin trial momentarily, but first to Washington. Minutes from now the president is expected to announce a new and earlier timeline on when all adults in the United States will be eligible to get the COVID vaccine.

Right now, more than 100 million people, that means nearly 1 out of 3 of us, have received one dose. Nearly 19 percent of the U.S. is fully vaccinated. Let's go straight to CNN senior White House correspondent Phil Mattingly. And Phil, why the new date? What's behind pushing up the deadline?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so I think when you talk to White House officials, Brooke, they acknowledge there's a convergence of factors here. The president first said, a May 1st date a couple of weeks ago, and since that time every single governor in America has set their own timeline for every adult to be eligible for a vaccine. So they've responded to that initial timeline and a lot of them have moved up the timelines from May 1st.

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Now the administration keeping that in mind and also, Brooke, the most important element here. Just the surge in supply of the three vaccines that have been approved for use over the course of the last several weeks. That has opened the door to shifting the timeline up.

Now the president today will announce that timeline will be April 19th, directing every single state to allow every adult to be eligible for the vaccine. It acknowledges that surge in supply. It acknowledges the reality on the ground in all 50 states and it also kind of shows progress. I think that's something administration officials want to point out as well here.

They recognize that there's a race ongoing with the variants that are spreading in states around the country, and they need people to get vaccinated. And this progress report that the Biden team will announce today includes, 150 million doses have been delivered since President Biden took office. That's more than any elsewhere in the world. But also an acknowledgment, that needs to speed up, that needs to go faster. And that's why shifting the eligibility timeline to an earlier date is so important. Keep ramping up the vaccinations.

The president, I think you'll hear him talk about those variants, talk about the belief inside the White House that the vaccines, as they currently stand, do deal with those variants, are effective against those variants and also continuing to urge vaccinations.

Yes, he will talk about masking. He will talk about social distancing. But everybody you talk to inside the White House from the president on down knows at this point in time, given the race that they're currently in with cases rising over the course of the last four weeks, that is the vaccine that will really put an end to the pandemic that's been plaguing the country over the course of the last year. That is the answer here.

And they believe what they're announcing today will help speed up that process. Again, one other date to keep in mind, Brooke, July 4th. That's what the president laid out a few weeks ago in his primetime address as kind of the moment when the country can return to some semblance of normalcy. What we've seen with the vaccine over the course of the last several weeks means even that timeline might be moved up, but people have to get vaccinated -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: I know, I hear you. Yeah, we were talking to Stephanie Elam a bit ago, the big news today, California fully reopening mid-June. Phil, we'll wait for the president. Thank you very much.

And as we wait again for this Derek Chauvin trial to resume there in Minneapolis, Eli and Chief Charles Ramsey are back me. and also joining us Dr. Megan Ramie.

Commissioner Ramsey, I wanted to come back to you on point on the cross-examination we were just listening of this police officer, medical coordinator, testifying, being asked about the crowd, right. We've talked about how the defense here is trying to paint the crowd that was gathering around the scene with the officer and his knee on the neck of George Floyd for all those nine, ten minutes, as this hostile crowd. And you and I have been on and you've said, it doesn't appear hostile to you.

And so, the question came into to her, and she was saying, you know, bystanders can attack. You know, as an officer you do need to get away. They can serve as a distraction, can harm further care of the patient. These are just the notes I was jotting down. But then upon redirect, you know, he was asking her, can you define hostility? She defined it as growing, verbally abusive, you know, when people are interfering with the scene, throwing bottles, rocks. What did you make of that back and forth?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, none of that was taking place. And plus, remember, you had four police officers there. You had one, I think his name is Tou Thao, something like that, he was standing there by himself pretty much holding it back. If he told an individual to step off the curb and he told them to get back on the curb, they got back on the curb. I mean, they were upset, they were emotional because of what they were looking at. But believe me, I have seen hostile crowds and that was not one of

them. And so -- and look at Derek Chauvin. I mean, he's very relaxed. He's got his sunglasses on top of his head, hand on his hip. He doesn't look like he's too concerned. And so, they can talk about that, but it's going to be very difficult, I think, to really convince a jury that that crowd was so out of control and so hostile that Chauvin could not, you know, perform any kind of duty to care for Mr. Floyd. I just -- I don't buy it.

BALDWIN: I got you. I think they're going to call another witness right now. Let's listen.

JUDGE PETER CAHILL, HENNEPIN COUNTY: If you would stand right here. Raise your right hand. Do you swear or affirm that the testimony you're about to give will be the truth and nothing but the truth?

SGT. JODY STIGER, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT USE-OF-FORCE CONSULTANT: Yes, I do.

CAHILL: Have a seat right here.

If you wouldn't mind, can you just grab that stylus that's there and give it to me. All right. Thank you. I would ask that you remove your mask if you feel comfortable doing so.

STIGER: Yes, sir.

CAHILL: And let's begin by you having you state your full name, spelling each of you names.

STIGER: Yes, sir, Jody Stiger. J-O-D-Y, S-T-I-G-E-R.

CAHILL: Mr. Schleicher.

STEVE SCHLEICHER, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: Thank you your honor. Sir, how are you employed?

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STIGER: I'm employed with the Los Angeles Police Department.

SCHLEICHER: In what capacity?

STIGER: I'm a sergeant.

SCHLEICHER: And you understand that you're here today serving as a retained expert for the state in this matter, is that correct?

STIGER: Yes, sir.

SCHLEICHER: So, this is outside your typical duties as a sergeant with the L.A. Police Department, correct?

STIGER: Yes, sir. I'm on vacation.

SCHLEICHER: All right. Well, welcome to Minnesota. STIGER: Thank you.

SCHLEICHER: Sir, before we begin your testimony, I would like you to just introduce yourself and share a little bit about your background with the jury. First, how old are you?

STIGER: I'm 50 years old.

SCHLEICHER: Ok. And you indicated that you're currently a sergeant with the LAPD. Can you please describe for the jury how you came to be involved in law enforcement?

STIGER: Yes. So, shortly after leaving the Marine Corps, I joined the Los Angeles Police Department in April of 1993. Yesterday was my 28- year anniversary. Then the police academy. After graduating the police academy, I was assigned to a patrol division, and from there I was on -- recruited to work undercover in the high schools, to buy drugs as --

SCHLEICHER: Los Angeles high schools?

STIGER: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: OK. And you were working as a undercover?

STIGER: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: How long did you have that assignment?

STIGER: Approximately six months.

SCHLEICHER: What did you do after that?

STIGER: After that I was assigned to another patrol division in South Los Angeles, southwest division, near the campus of University of Southern California. And I worked there until 1998.

SCHLEICHER: All right. And what were your duties just generally as a patrol officer in that particular area of Los Angeles?

STIGER: For the first two years of patrol, where it was just hail on call for service primarily. During that time it was a pretty violent time in Los Angeles. I believe the -- on average in our division, we averaged anywhere from 100 to 200 homicides a year, so it was a pretty dangerous area.

SCHLEICHER: OK. And after you said you held that position as patrol officer for how many years?

STIGER: Just for patrols specifically, I was there for two years and then I was recruited to work the gang unit at the same division.

SCHLEICHER: In the same geographic area?

STIGER: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: Describe that work for the jury.

STIGER: It was primarily gang intelligence. I was assigned a specific gang and neighborhood and our assignment was to gather intelligence, make arrests and handle any calls of service that were specific to that specific gang.

SCHLEICHER: How long did you work in the gang unit?

STIGER: In that specific gang unit, for 3 1/2 years.

SCHLEICHER: And where did you go after that?

STIGER: I was recruited to go and work at FBI task force in the same bureau for specific to that gang that I was assigned to in southwest division.

SCHLEICHER: And was that more of a long-term investigation?

STIGER: Yes. So, we were doing investigative work. And so, basically we handled all crimes other than murders and sexual assaults that were committed by that specific gang.

SCHLEICHER: All right. And how long did you do that?

STIGER: I did that for approximately a year and a half.

SCHLEICHER: And then where did you go?

STIGER: Then I was recruited, and I was assigned to the training division at our -- for in-service tactics.

SCHLEICHER: And approximately what year was that?

STIGER: Approximately 2000.

SCHLEICHER: And what did you do for your in-service tactics unit?

STIGER: For the in-service tactics unit, we developed a 32-hour course. It was the first of its kind for the Los Angeles Police Department. It was a four-day course where we went over de-escalation, firearms manipulation, basic patrol tactics and arrest control techniques.

SCHLEICHER: And what was your assignment afterwards?

STIGER: After that position, I was promoted to sergeant.

SCHLEICHER: And you spent some time on the use of force board for your department?

STIGER: Yes, as a peer member.

SCHLEICHER: What does that mean?

[15:45:00] STIGER: So, the way the Los Angeles Police Department's use of force review is set up is there's three stages, so initially you have -- these are for the higher profile uses of force. Not all uses of force. The higher level use of force.

So you have a use of force review board that convenes, and there's four command staff and one peer member. So depending on the officer involved, if it's a police officer, then you have a peer that's an officer. If it's a sergeant, a sergeant. Detective, detective is on and so forth.

And so, I was a peer member from 2003 until 2007. So I was a peer member as a police officer as well as a sergeant where I sat on the board, it's a board of five people for command staff and the peer. And basically we review all the information that was gathered during the investigation and we make recommendations to chief of police.

At that point, the chief of police then gets that information, and he makes a recommendation to the Police Commission and then the Police Commission has the final say.

SCHLEICHER: And what you're reviewing is actions, conduct, involving use of force of other officers, is that right?

STIGER: Yes, sir.

CAHILL: And then what was your next assignment after serving on that board?

STIGER: That was just -- that was just adjunct duty to I was called as needed. But as I stated earlier, I was promoted to sergeant in 2006 and I was assigned to our central division, which is downtown Los Angeles.

SCHLEICHER: What was required to become a sergeant for the LAPD?

STIGER: You have to take a written test. And once you pass the written test, you also have to go through an interview process and then you're ranked. We also have to have a certain amount of college credits in order to be eligible to take the test.

SCHLEICHER: OK. You were eventually selected as sergeant. Can you tell the jury what your first duty was as sergeant?

STIGER: Yes. My first duty was assigned to our central division, which is downtown Los Angeles. Skid row area.

SCHLEICHER: In the skid row area?

STIGER: Yes, sir.

SCHLEICHER: And doing what?

STIGER: I was a patrol sergeant and a field sergeant.

SCHLEICHER: So, describe what that job was like. What were you supposed to do?

STIGER: General duties of a field sergeant is supervising officers assigned to a specific watch. Normally anywhere from 10 to 20 officers would be assigned to a specific watch and may be one or two supervisors that are assigned to that watch as well.

And you have general duties such as providing roll call training early in the beginning of the watch as well as just overall supervision. Making sure that officers are conducting themselves properly as well as if there's a use of force, you have to respond to the use of force and take these investigations as well.

SCHLEICHER: And did you take a different position after serving as a sergeant?

STIGER: I'm still a sergeant, but, yes, within about six months I was assigned to our safer cities initiative, which was focused on the homeless problem in the skid row area. So I did that for the next year and a half.

SCHLEICHER: Now, you described a couple geographic areas of Los Angeles in which you've served as a patrol officer and patrol sergeant. I would like you to describe in general terms, those areas in terms of the dangerousness or the crime rate there.

STIGER: Well, in -- my first assignment in south bureau -- south bureau historically has the highest violent crime in the city. Central bureau and central division usually is second or third.

SCHLEICHER: All right. And what kind of crimes are you typically responding to?

STIGER: Primarily violent crimes, robberies, assaults, things of that nature.

SCHLEICHER: And I'd also like you to describe for the jury the training you received in the use of force and defensive tactics to help you do your job as a patrol officer and a patrol sergeant.

STIGER: I unique in a sense, because I was a tactics instructor for six years, so I had a lot of background in use of force and tactics prior to making sergeant. Prior to that as a patrol officer we would get quarterly training as well as annual training that would keep us up to date on any changes in laws or policy and procedures.

SCHLEICHER: And what does it mean to be a tactics instructor?

[15:50:00]

STIGER: For our department and for the State of California you have to go through different types of training. So I've been through our force options instructor training as well as de-escalation training. I'm a trainer for de-escalation and forced options. I've been through an FBI rang and action course, and I'm a handgun instructor as well, and a number of leadership courses as well.

SCHLEICHER: OK. And have you had an educational role or a teaching role within your department?

STIGER: Yes. As I stated earlier, for six years I was a tactics instructor for in-service training for the course that I mentioned earlier.

SCHLEICHER: So this would -- in-service training would be for already serving officers, is that right, experienced officers?

STIGER: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: And it would be in the form of annual training?

STIGER: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: OK. During that annual training would you provide training as to your -- your department's use of force policy?

STIGER: Yes, and the state law.

SCHLEICHER: And the state law. And have you reviewed generally use of force policies and -- across the nation and compared those with the use of force policies in your department?

STIGER: Yes. So my current position, I am the aide to inspector general, which is oversight, an entity that is within the Los Angeles Police Department independent of the department itself. I'm the only sworn officer that works for that -- that unit. There's 28 overall employees.

During that time, during my time there, I was able to travel nationwide and go to a number of different police agencies to basically compare their use of force policies as well as their training with the Los Angeles Police Department.

SCHLEICHER: All right. And are your policies in the Los Angeles Police Department fairly consistent with the policies and standards nationwide?

STIGER: Yes, sir.

SCHLEICHER: Is there sort of a nationwide sort of acceptable reasonableness of a police officer that's generally accepted in your field?

ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Objection, leading.

CAHILL: Overruled.

STIGER: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: Getting back to your days as a trainer for defensive tactics and instruction, approximately how many Los Angeles police officers did you provide training in that six-year time period?

STIGER: In the initial secure time period, approximately 3,000 officers. SCHLEICHER: And can you explain to the jury the types of training that

you provided, the specific topics?

STIGER: As I stated earlier, the main focus was de-escalation. We taught them basic patrol tactics such as vehicle stops, pedestrian stops as well as firearms manipulation and ultimately we would do at the end of the four-day course the goal was for them to utilize their de-escalation tactics so they wouldn't have to use force.

SCHLEICHER: Did you teach a specific tactics, ground training or anything like that?

STIGER: No. We were we taught all the subjects.

SCHLEICHER: All right. Now you indicated in your current role with the department you do use of force reviews, is that correct?

STIGER: No, not in my current role.

SCHLEICHER: In a prior role I should say, you did.

STIGER: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: OK. In terms of the use of force reviews of the numbers of use of force reviews that you've completed in your career, can you estimate approximately how many you've done?

STIGER: Approximately 2,500.

SCHLEICHER: All right. And of those 2,500 force reviews have you ever made findings that the use of force was excessive or objectively unreasonable?

STIGER: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: And have you ever made findings where such use of force was not excessive?

STIGER: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: And when you -- when you've done use of force reviews, has that included the review of the use of deadly force?

STIGER: Yes. In some certain situations, primarily in that role after being a patrol sergeant I was assigned -- I was promoted and assigned the to be a training coordinator for south bureau which is pretty much all of South Los Angeles. In that bureau we had approximately 1,600 officers, and at the time it was four patrol divisions and one traffic division. And so, my job was to oversee the training for that bureau.

[15:55:00]

SCHLEICHER: Are you a member of any professional organizations?

STIGER: Yes. I'm a member of a few.

SCHLEICHER: And could you name them, please.

STIGER: Employer organization, the Oscar Joel Bryant foundation which represents African-American officers on the police department. I'm a member of the -- I'm drawing a blank I'm sorry. A number of them. I'm trying to not say the acronyms because then I've got to say them all out. But a number of other police organizations that involve tactical managers.

SCHLEICHER: And have you been called upon by other law enforcement agencies to provide instructions -- instruction in the use of force?

STIGER: Instructions specifically, no. I've consulted with a number of other agencies.

SCHLEICHER: Consultation of use of force reviews?

STIGER: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: OK. What other agencies have you assisted?

STIGER: I've assisted the University of California, office of the president. I've assisted King County office of the Ombuds. I've assisted California City Police Department, as well as the University of California Irvine Police Department.

SCHLEICHER: You have indicated already that you've been retained as an expert witness for the state in this matter. Is that right?

STIGER: Yes, sir.

SCHLEICHER: And you've conducted then a review of some of the various materials associated with the death of George Floyd that happened on May 25th, 2020, is that correct?

STIGER: Yes, sir.

SCHLEICHER: Do you charge a fee for your services?

STIGER: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: And can you please tell the jury what the fee is in this manner?

STIGER: There was a flat fee of $10,000 and for trial the fee is $2,950.

SCHLEICHER: And that is included reviewing all of the different offense materials that you were provided. Is that right?

STIGER: Yes, sir.

SCHLEICHER: Can you please tell the jury, just in general high-level terms, what offense materials you have reviewed?

STIGER: I reviewed all the body-worn videos, all the other videos that were provided to me, the cell phone videos, pulled videos, things of that nature. Reports, manuals from the Minneapolis Police Department as well as the training materials.

SCHLEICHER: One moment. If we may have a sidebar, your honor.

BALDWIN: All right, quick sidebar. Elie, what's happening.

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The prosecution is offering this witness as an expert witness. Meaning he did not see anything that happened on May 25th. He doesn't know anything directly firsthand about the facts of this case. He's a sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department. They are going to offer him as an expert on nationwide and perhaps Minneapolis Police Department's use of force. I think it's clear he'll opine that a Derek Chauvin's conduct violated those policies for use of force.

BALDWIN: OK. Sorry, they were just talking to me, so I missed the last little bit. I heard the use of force. Commissioner, what do you think of this so far?

RAMSEY: Well, I mean, Elie is exactly right. And what they're trying to do is establish best practices, using Los Angeles which is, what, the third largest department in the country --

BALDWIN: Chief, we're back. Let's go back.

SCHLEICHER: Based upon your review of the different materials that you have conducted in this case and based upon your own experience and training in law enforcement, have you reached an opinion as to the degree and amount of force used by the defendant, Mr. Chauvin, on George Floyd?

STIGER: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: And are you -- can I ask you to explain to the jury a little bit about what process or methodology you go through to render such an opinion?

STIGER: There's a few steps. The main step is going through the objective reasonableness standard which is based off of Graham versus Connor. Looking at the seriousness of the crime, looking at the person's actions, things of that nature as well as looking at the specific agency's policies and procedures as well.

SCHLEICHER: All right. In addition to the seriousness of the crime under the Graham standard, do you look at any other factors?

STIGER: Yes. I -- I try to look at a number --

BALDWIN: All right, we're going to come out of this really quickly so I can say thank you for watching. We'll head to Washington in just a second, day seven, Derek Chauvin trial. Obviously, we'll keep hearing all the witnesses, pacifically expert witnesses in the realm of law enforcement and PD officers, people who are experts, trained people in use of force techniques. So we continue watching. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

Thanks for being with me. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.