Erin Donaghue – CBS News
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo took the stand Monday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the fired police officer charged in George Floyd’s death. He testified Chauvin’s actions violated Minneapolis police policy. The jury also heard from another police official, Inspector Katie Blackwell, who oversaw the department’s training. Both police officials testified Chauvin’s restraint of George Floyd using his knee was not something Minneapolis officers are taught.
Arradondo testified there was an “initial reasonableness in trying to just get [Floyd] under control” in the first few seconds of the deadly May 25 encounter. But when Floyd had stopped resisting and “clearly when Mr. Floyd was no longer responsive and even motionless, to continue to apply that level of force to a person prone out, hands cuffed behind their back — that in no way, shape or form is anything that is by policy,” Arradondo said. “It’s not part of our training and it’s certainly not part of our ethics or values.”
Arradondo said Chauvin’s restraint should have stopped once Floyd stopped resisting, and “certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, [Chauvin] should have stopped.”
Earlier, under questioning by prosecutor Steve Schleicher, Arradondo emphasized that the department values treating others with dignity and respect. When asked to explain the department’s goal of “serving with compassion,” Arradondo said: “It means to understand and authentically accept that we see our neighbors as ourselves.”
“We value one another,” he said. “We see our community as necessary for our existence.”
Arradondo was also asked about the department’s de-escalation policy, which requires officers to seek to minimize the use of physical force. Of Chauvin’s restraint against Floyd, he said, “That action is not de-escalation.”
“When we talk about the framework of our sanctity of life [policy] and talk about principles that we have, that action goes contrary to what we’re talking about,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the emergency doctor who tried to resuscitate Floyd took the stand and was asked about how he believed Floyd died. Prosecutors have said Floyd died of oxygen deprivation underneath the pressure of Chauvin’s knee, but defense attorney Eric Nelson has said Floyd’s drug use caused a fatal heart arrhythmia.
Two other members of the department took the stand last week and criticized Chauvin’s use of force. Chauvin’s supervising sergeant said force should have ended as soon as Floyd stopped resisting, and the high-ranking lieutenant who heads the homicide unit called Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck “totally unnecessary” and “just uncalled for.”
Court is expected to resume Tuesday with a motions hearing at 8:30 a.m. local time (9:30 a.m. ET).
Chauvin, who was seen in disturbing videos kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He has pleaded not guilty.
banner image – Court TV/Pool via WCCO