This is the seventh day of testimony in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was charged with the death of George Floyd.
This is what they said in court yesterday:
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo categorically rejected Chauvin’s actions during Floyd’s arrest last May as contrary to departmental policy. “Once Mr. Floyd stopped resisting, and certainly once he got in distress and tried to verbalize it, it should have stopped,” Arradondo said.
The leader said that the kneeling of Chauvin on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds was not a trained tactic and a violation of the policies of de-escalation, objectively reasonable use of force and obligation to assist. In his testimony, Arradondo described the department’s training programs and the core value of treating everyone with “dignity and respect”. He said officers need to familiarize themselves with policies, including de-escalation and the use of force.
Last year, Arradondo fired Chauvin and three other officers involved in Floyd’s death, which he called “murder”.
Dr Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld, an emergency doctor at Hennepin County Medical Center, said he treated Floyd for about 30 minutes on May 25, 2020, as hospital staff tried unsuccessfully to restart his heart. Based on what paramedics reported and Floyd’s condition, Langenfeld said the “more likely possibility” of Floyd’s cardiac arrest was hypoxia or lack of oxygen. In cross-examination, Langenfeld said hypoxia can be caused by many factors, including drugs such as fentanyl, methamphetamine, or a combination of the two.
The doctor’s testimony points to the prosecution’s argument that Chauvin’s kneeling was a major cause of Floyd’s death. Chauvin’s attorney, however, argued that Floyd died due to his drug use and other health issues.
Minneapolis Police Inspector Katie Blackwell, who recently served as the department’s training division commander, said officers are trained in their medical unit on the dangers of positional asphyxiation and the need to put someone on their side or sit down to recover. Officers also learn how to provide medical assistance to suspects.
Looking at a photo of Chauvin on Floyd’s neck, Blackwell testified that it did not fit the training of the ministry. They train using a one- or two-arm neck restraint system. “I don’t know what kind of improvised position this is,” she said. “It’s not what we train.”