Warning: This article contains images some readers might find distressing.
Pig's blood has been smeared on the former home of a use-of-force expert who testified for the defence in Derek Chauvin's murder trial, according to police.
Chauvin, a former police officer, is facing a number of murder charges in relation to the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who Chauvin and three other police officers apprehended on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While restraining Floyd outside a grocery store, Chauvin, then 44, pinned the handcuffed man to the pavement by pushing his knee into the back of his neck, a position he held for more than nine minutes. Floyd, who repeatedly gasped, "I can't breathe", died at the scene.
Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, has been on trial since March 8. The verdict will be announced on Monday (local time).
Last Tuesday, use-of-force expert Barry Brodd testified that Chauvin was justified in kneeling on Floyd for more than nine minutes. He said the former officer did not apply deadly force and had acted with "objective reasonableness".
Four days later, Brodd's former home in the city of Santa Rosa, California, was smeared with pig's blood in an act of vandalism, according to the Santa Rosa Police Department - also Brodd's former employer.
At around 3am on Saturday (local time), Santa Rosa Police responded to a report of a vandalised property, the department said in a press release. The current resident told police they woke to a group of people throwing a decapitated pig's head on their porch and splattering blood on the front of their home.
The suspects, dressed in black, scarpered when the victim called the police, the department said. As the vandalism to the victim's property exceeded US$400, the crime is considered felony vandalism.
The department acknowledged the home was the previous residence of Brodd, but noted he "has not lived at the residence for a number of years and is no longer a resident of California".
"It appears the suspects in this vandalism were targeting Mr Brodd for his testimony," police said in the release. "Because Mr Brodd no longer lives in the city of Santa Rosa, it appears the victim was falsely targeted."
Just 45 minutes later, another act of vandalism was committed at Santa Rosa Plaza Mall. A large statue of a hand at the shopping centre was also smeared in a substance believed to be pig's blood, police said. A sign was also left in front of the statue, bearing a picture of a pig and the words, "Oink Oink".
Authorities believe both the home and the statue were vandalised by the same group of people.
"The suspects were seen fleeing the area and matched the descriptions of the suspects who vandalized the house," said the release.
Following Brodd's testimony last Tuesday, Santa Rosa Police Chief Rainer Navarro also issued a statement saying Brodd's comments "do not reflect the values and beliefs" of the department.
"We are aware of former Santa Rosa Police Officer, Barry Brodd, providing testimony in the Derek Chauvin trial. Mr Brodd has not been employed by the department since 2004," Navarro said.
"His comments do not reflect the values and beliefs of the Santa Rosa Police Department."
The acts of vandalism are currently under investigation.
The verdict in Chauvin's murder trial is expected to be announced on Tuesday (NZ time). The trial of the three other former officers involved in Floyd's death will begin in August.