EXPLAINER: Analyzing use of force by police officers

As former Officer Derek Chauvin stands trial in George Floyd’s death, a central question is whether he followed the Minneapolis Police Department’s guidelines on the use of force — and used that force reasonably. The department’s longest-tenured officer sharply questioned Chauvin’s actions, at one point calling it “totally unnecessary” for Chauvin to have restrained Floyd as he did for so long. Lt. Richard Zimmerman on Friday noted a range of actions on the use-of-force continuum that ranges from simply showing up in uniform, to talking to a person, to using deadly force. He says once a person is handcuffed and less combative, officers may simply talk to calm them down. Outside experts have also questioned officers’ handling of Floyd, who was accused of passing a counterfeit bill.