Former Los Angeles police captain who testified in Rodney King case to serve as 'expert on use of force' in Floyd trial

Surveillance footage shows former Minneapolis police officers Thomas Lane, left, and J Alexander Kueng, second from right, arresting George Floyd on Monday, May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis. Photo: Courtesy of Rashad West and Jared Brewington. Surveillance footage shows former Minneapolis police officers Thomas Lane, left, and J Alexander Kueng, second from right, arresting George Floyd on Monday, May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis.

Tommy Wiita
Updated: January 15, 2021 01:27 PM
Created: January 15, 2021 01:17 PM

Thursday, an attorney for one of the four former Minneapolis police officers involved in the George Floyd murder case filed notice that a former Los Angeles police captain, who testified that officers didn't use excessive force in the Rodney King case, is expected to be called as an expert on use of force for the defense.

Court documents state attorney Earl Gray, who represents former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane in the case, said in a notice he plans to call Greg Meyer as an expert witness in the Aug. 23 trial, where Lane, J Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao will be present.

The filing, which includes a 37-page resume on Meyer, says Meyer is an "expert on police training, intervention, detention and arrests."

2 trials in George Floyd case: Chauvin trial in March, 3 other former officers in late summer

According to his resume, Meyer worked for the Los Angeles Police Department from 1976 to 2006. He testified in the King case after four officers were charged with beating King in 1991 during a traffic stop.

Meyer has been an advocate for the recently banned "neck restraints" otherwise known as a "chokehold," calling it in a 2009 published article on neck restraints from the Canadian Police Research Centre "an attempt to provide 'humane' means of controlling combative persons."

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is facing second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Floyd on May 25, 2020. Lane, Kueng and Thao each face one count of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

In the King case, Los Angeles police officers attempted to stop the unarmed King for speeding when he fled. Authorities used stun guns and beat him with batons following a high-speed chase. An amateur cameraman was able to capture the scene on a video camera, marking one of the first times an incident relating to the use of force by officers was videotaped, seen around the world and brought up concerns on race and policing.

The charges against the-then Los Angeles police officers resulted in all four being acquitted after a jury decision in 1992. That led to several days of riots in the city and surrounding areas. A year later, the officers were tried again on charges relating to violating King's civil rights. Two were convicted and received prison time and the other two were acquitted.

According to archives, jurors awarded King $3.8 million from the city.

Additionally on Thursday, Kueng's attorney Thomas Plunkett filed notice to bring retired Missouri police officer Steve Ijames as an expert witness as well. According to court files, he testified for the defense in the 2020 trial of Washington County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Krook. Krook shot and killed 23-year-old Benjamin Evans in 2018 after police responded to a report of a suicidal armed man. The deputy was acquitted of second-degree manslaughter.

Minnesota jury acquits sheriff's deputy in shooting death


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