It is day seven of testimony in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged in the death of George Floyd.
Here’s what they said in court yesterday:
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo thoroughly rejected Chauvin’s actions during the arrest of Floyd last May as contrary to department policy. “Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting, and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped,” Arradondo testified.
The chief said Chauvin’s kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds is not a trained tactic and was a violation of the policies around de-escalation, objectively reasonable use of force and requirement to render aid. In his testimony, Arradondo described the department’s training programs and the core value of treating everyone with “dignity and respect.” He said that officers are required to be familiar with policies, including de-escalation and use of force.
Last year, Arradondo fired Chauvin and three other officers involved in Floyd’s death, which he said was “murder.”
Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld, an emergency medicine physician at Hennepin County Medical Center, said he treated Floyd for about 30 minutes on May 25, 2020, as hospital staff unsuccessfully tried to restart his heart. Based on what paramedics reported and on Floyd’s medical condition, Langenfeld said the “more likely possibility” of Floyd’s cardiac arrest was hypoxia, or lack of oxygen. On cross-examination, Langenfeld said that hypoxia can be caused by many things, including drugs such as fentanyl, methamphetamine or a combination of both.
The doctor’s testimony goes to the prosecution’s argument that Chauvin’s kneeling was a substantial cause of Floyd’s death. Chauvin’s attorney, however, has argued that Floyd died due to his drug use and other health issues.
Minneapolis Police Inspector Katie Blackwell, who recently served as commander of the department’s training division, said officers are trained in their medical unit about the dangers of positional asphyxia and the need to get someone on their side or sit up to recover. Officers are also taught to provide medical help to suspects.
Looking at a photo of Chauvin on Floyd’s neck, Blackwell testified that it was not in line with department training. They train using a one-arm or two-arm neck restraint. “I don’t know what kind of improvised position that is,” she said. “It’s not what we train.”