Police Chief of Minneapolis Medaria Arradondo could testify so Monday in the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the deadly arrest of George Floyd, where the prosecutor said he would damage defense claims that Chauvin followed his police training.
“This is the murder – it is not lack of training,” said Arradondo last year in a statement about video footage of the ex-officer, who is white, knelt on Floyd’s neck, a 46-year-old African-American, for more than nine minutes.
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Arradondo, who in 2017 became the first black person to lead the city police, fired Chauvin and three other officers involved a day after the incident. Floyd’s death triggered global protests against police brutality. Chauvin said he was innocent of murder and pleaded not guilty to murder charges on the grounds that he only did what he was trained to do in 19 years of service.
The prosecutor from Minnesota’s Attorney General’s Office, Hope Arradondo, will convince the jury otherwise. “He won’t raise the words,” Jerry Blackwell, one of the prosecutors, told the jury in his opening statement last Monday. “He is unequivocal, and he is decisive that this is excessive force.”
The police chief testified against one of the current police officers, or the former police were unusual, even considering how rare officers faced criminal prosecution, experts in policy violations said. “They need to have someone from the agency saying how bad it is,” Geoffrey Alpert, a criminologist at the University of South Carolina, said in a telephone of Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck.
Philip Stinson, a criminal justice professor at Bowling Green State University, who tracked the police’s prosecution, said Arradondo might face an aggressive cross-examination by Chauvin’s leading lawyer, Eric Nelson. “Maybe the city and the police department tried to send messages to the community,” he said, “that we did not tolerate police violations.”
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