Chauvin Defense Pushes Back Against Minneapolis PD Chief On Use of Force Tactics
The defense lawyer for former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin tried to point out places where certain uses of force would be necessary when cross examining Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo.
"Would you agree that the use of force is not an attractive notion?" attorney Eric Nelson asked.
"I would say the use of force is something that most officers would rather not use," Arradondo replied.
"Sometimes an officer has to command the presence? They have to take control of the situation?" Nelson asked, to which Arradondo agreed.
Nelson went on to ask Arradondo about using the neck restraint maneuver that Chauvin used on George Floyd. He admitted that it was within Minneapolis police policy to use it, but clarified further: “It is contrary to our training to indefinitely place your knee on a prone handcuffed individual for an indefinite period of time.”
Chauvin pinned Floyd by the neck for nearly nine minutes.
The chief was on the witness stand for nearly four hours on Monday (April 5). He answered lengthy questions from prosecutors in which he criticized Chauvin’s tactics and pointed out that what he did was a breach of reasonable boundaries when it comes to arresting a non-resisting suspect.
Minneapolis PD Chief Makes Clear His View Of Derek Chauvin’s Tactics
The head of the Minneapolis police force testified that former officer Derek Chauvin violated department policy and went beyond his training when he placed his knee on the neck of George Floyd last May, which led to his death.
Chief Medaria Arradondo, who fired Chauvin along with the three other officers responding at the time, said that de-escalation tactics were not followed as directed and the amont of force used was not necessary to subdue Floyd when officers restrained him after arresting him under suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill.
"Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting — and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that — that should have stopped," Arradondo said. "There's an initial reasonableness of trying to just get him under control in the first few seconds. "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."
The testimony came after lengthy questioning from prosecutors to spell out to jurors exactly what MPD policy is and how it should be applied.
Arradondo, who has been in the role for three years and also testified against former Minneapolis officer Momamed Noor, who was convicted in the 2017 shooting death of Justine Damond, blasted Chauvin’s use of the kneeling maneuver not long after it happened. He told special prosecutor Steve Schleicher that how such tactics are applied is what law enforcement is graded on.
"It is my firm belief that the one singular incident we will be judged forever on will be our use of force,” said Arradondo. “While it is absolutely imperative that our officers go home at the end of their shift, we want to make sure our community members do too."
Judge Peter Cahill ordered a break to prepare for defense cross examination after the chief’s testimony.
ER Doctor Treating George Floyd Says His Heart Had Stopped, Likely From Asphyxia
George Floyd went into a cardiac arrest which the emergency room doctor felt he had no means of treating, so he was pronounced dead, the physician treating him testified on Monday (April 5).
The second week of witness testimony began with prosecution questioning of Dr. Bradford Langenfeld, who was working the ER at Hennepin County Medical Center on May 25, 2020, and received Floyd for care. He told special prosecutor Jerry Blackwell that it was unlikely that Floyd died of a drug overdose, despite drugs being found in his system during an autopsy.
He said that the paramedics told him that he had been arrested, but did not say that he had overdosed or had a heart attack, nor that he got CPR from the arresting officers or bystanders.
When asked what moved Floyd into cardiac arrest, oxygen deficiency, or asphyxia, Langenfeld said: “At the time, based on the information I had, it was one more likely than the other possibilities.”
An independent autopsy found that George Floyd died of “asphyxiation from sustained pressure” to his neck, which was applied when former officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on it.
“Exited delirium,” on the other hand, Langenfeld said, was not something that was a determining factor in the cardiac arrest.
After the first hour of testimony, Judge Peter Cahill dismissed the jury for the morning break. Defense cross examination is expected to begin when court is called back into session.