Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified Monday in the trial of former officer Derek Chauvin, who is facing murder charges over the killing of George Floyd. Arradondo said Chauvin’s actions during the arrest of Floyd last May violated the police department’s policies.
“Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting — and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that — that should have stopped,” the chief said after highlighting department policy on when to use force and when to calm a situation through de-escalation tactics.
“There’s an initial reasonableness of trying to just get him under control in the first few seconds,” Arradondo said, “but once there was no longer any resistance, and clearly when Mr. Floyd was no longer responsive and even motionless, to continue to apply that level of force to a person proned out, handcuffed behind their back, that in no way shape or form is anything that is by policy, part of our training and is certainly not part of our ethics or values.”
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Arradondo, 54, fired Chauvin and the three other officers involved days after Floyd’s death. Chauvin has denied the charges against him. The trial, which is expected to last for at least one month, is in its second week of testimony.
Earlier Monday, Dr. Bradford Langenfeld, the HCMC doctor who declared Floyd dead, testified that the “more likely possibility” of Floyd’s cardiac arrest was hypoxia or lack of oxygen. “Doctor, is there another name for death by oxygen deficiency?” prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell asked.
“Asphyxia is a commonly understood term,” Langenfeld responded.
Floyd’s death triggered a wave of nationwide protests against police brutality and racial discrimination in the United States, with people calling for swift reforms. The protests eventually spread to other countries.
The 46-year-old passed away after Chauvin reportedly knelt on his neck for over nine minutes. During the opening statements to commence the trial last week, Chauvin’s defense attorney argued his client was not to blame for Floyd’s death as he “did exactly what he had been trained to do.”