Derek Chauvin violated the Minneapolis Police Department’s rules and its code of ethics in honor of the “sanctity of life” during the arrest of George Floyd last May, said the city police chief as he testified in the murder trial of the former officer on Monday.
“This is not part of our training, and of course not part of our ethics and our values,” said the Head of Police Medaria Arradondo, referring to how Chauvin, who was white, held his knee on the neck of Floyd, 46 years old African American, for more than nine minutes. The video caught by the bystander of Floyd’s dying moments triggered global protests against police brutality.
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More than 3-1/ 2 hours of testimony, Arradondo denied the defense claim that Chauvin, who has pleaded innocent for murder, was following the training he had received in 19 years in his strength. According to legal experts who track the police’s prosecution, it was very unusual for a senior police officer official to testify that one of his former subordinates used excessive strength. Chauvin, who, along with three other officers, was fired by Arradondo a day after the arrest, sat nearby wearing a suit, noting.
In the opening of last week’s statement, a prosecutor told the jury would hear from Arradondo, who would not “mince words.” Last year, the head of the city’s police department released a statement criticizing Chauvin, saying: “This is the murder – it’s not lack of training.” On Monday, he appeared dressed in a blue uniform, placing ahead hat on his ledge in front of him with his golden badge seen by the jury.
“I disagree that it is the use of the right strength for that situation on May 25,” he said. He said officers were trained to treat people with dignity and vowed to enforce the “sanctity of life.” They were trained in basic first aid and given annual refresher courses in a binding tourniquet to victims of gunshots or using the Naloxone inhaler to reverse opioid overdose.
Chauvin failed to take part in the training in some ways, Arradondo said. He can know from the Floyd pulse that Chauvin used more than the maximum pressure an officer can use on someone’s neck. The officer did not depend on the use of deadly power even when Floyd fell unconscious, and he did not provide the first aid assistance mandated to the dying Floyd, Arradondo said.
“This is contrary to our training to put your knees for unlimited on individuals who are vulnerable and handcuffed for an unlimited period,” he said. In a cross-examination, Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s main lawyer, began with Arradondo to say it has been “years” since he made any arrests. “I’m not trying to underestimate,” Nelson said. He also had Arradondo agreeing with him that the use of police strength is often “unattractive.”
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