On Monday, the Minneapolis Chief of Police took the stand and testified in the trial of George Floyd’s killing nearly one year ago. Here’s what we know and what comes next.
On Monday, the trial of former Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin resumed for day six. Chauvin, who is on trial for his misconduct and alleged murder of George Floyd last summer, was fired from the line of duty after the incident. The defense of Mr. Chauvin claims that the former officer was merely following standard policy within the Minneapolis Police Department, and that Floyd’s death came as a result of the extraordinary levels of meth and fentanyl that were found in his system. Despite this, Chief Medaria Arradondo took the stand and testified that Chauvin ‘absolutely’ violated policy that was standard conduction in the Minneapolis Police force.
Arradondo continued, saying that Chauvin failed to adhere to the policies of the department, used excessive force in his conduct, and the necessary duty to aid those who need it. “I absolutely agree that violates our policy…That is not part of our policy; that is not what we teach,” said Arradondo in the trial of Derek Chauvin, Monday. Although he condemned the conduct of the former police officer, Chief Arradondo recognized that Chauvin’s actions were reasonable in the time leading up to his knee being placed on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes. “Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting, and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped,” Chief Arradondo said at the trial.
Arradondo is the first black police chief in the Minneapolis Police Department, taking the position in 2017. Arradondo fired Chauvin and the other three officers involved in Floyd’s death within a day of the incident. He also publicly deemed Chauvin’s actions and George Floyd’s death a ‘murder’ just a month after it occured. Arradondo claims that he was first made aware of George Floyd’s death and the situation more broadly when he learned of the bystander video the night after the situation went down. He says a community member sent him a message that night, saying, “Chief, have you seen the video of your officer choking and killing that man at 38th and Chicago?” referring to the intersection where Mr. Floyd was arrested. Mr. Arradondo said he remembered it “almost verbatim.”
An emergency room doctor testified, as well, saying that he had tried for 30 minutes to save Floyd before pronouncing him dead. He added that he believed Floyd’s death was caused by a lack of oxygen to the lungs. There are many conflicting responses to the accounts of both Chief Arradondo and the emergency room doctor, given that other reports are in direct conflict with their accounts. An autopsy report conducted months after Floyd’s death revealed that Floyd was on fentanyl levels high enough to kill a horse. It has also been said that the use of force policy at the Minneapolis Police Department included the knee hold that Chauvin used on Floyd.
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ARTICLE: ETHAN FINN
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: VOX