Derek Chauvin ‘Absolutely’ Violated Policy, Minneapolis Police Chief Testifies

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified against Officer Derek Chauvin on Monday. Arradondo said Chauvin violated the department’s policy on restraint. It is rare for a chief to speak against their policemen.

What We Know:

  • In a statement from last June, Arradondo affirmed that George Floyd’s death last May was a tragedy. He also clarified that Floyd’s death “was not due to a lack of training.” When he took the witness stand on Monday, the Minneapolis Police Chief stated that once Floyd was motionless, Chauvin was to stop applying that level of force. Chauvin’s actions are neither in the Police Department’s policy nor in their code of ethics and values.
  • Arradondo recalled when he first became aware of the bystander video. He received a call from a Minneapolis resident the night of Floyd’s death. The person asked if he saw the recording of his “officer choking and killing that man at 30th and Chicago.” He had previously seen security footage from the event. However, it was then that he deeply analyzed Chauvin’s tactics and Floyd’s pleas for help.
  • Prosecutor Steve Schleicher asked Arradondo when he felt that Chauvin should have stopped kneeling on Floyd’s neck. Arradondo responded that when Floyd had stopped resisting and had begun to verbalize distress, he should have stopped.
  • In his testimony, the chief also explained the departmental policy when an officer should use force and de-escalation tactics. Arradondo mentioned that law enforcement officers are taught to de-escalate tense situations with little to no force. He stated that Chauvin applied more than light to moderate force on Floyd’s neck. This went against a rule clearly stated in their neck-restraint policy. Chauvin also did not render first aid to Floyd before the ambulance arrived.
  • Arradondo’s testimony came right after emergency room doctor Bradford Langenfeld confirmed that Floyd’s heart had already stopped when he arrived at the hospital. Dr. Langenfeld informed the jury that the paramedics had spent 30 minutes trying to resuscitate Floyd. When he arrived at the hospital, Langenfeld also tried to revive Floyd for an extra 30 minutes. This is important to note because it rejects the defense’s stance that Floyd died because of illegal drugs and underlying health conditions. Arradondo said that although a suspect that is on drugs may be more aggressive, it can also make them more vulnerable.
  • This is the second time Arradondo has participated in a policeman’s trial. In 2019, he was asked to testify in the Mohammed Noor case. Noor fatally shot Justine Damond, a white woman, in July 2017 after calling to report a possible assault in the alley behind her home. Alongside his testimony on body cameras, his assistance with the Minneapolis Police Department made the public support him. Damond’s death became an international conversation, which caused the then-mayor of Minneapolis Betsy Hodges to reconsider Chief Janee Harteau’s integrity.

Harteau had been chief for five years in 2017 when Damond’s death forced officials to recognize that many civilian deaths were occurring at officers’ hands. Hodges believed this to be a sign of inaction. She then asked Harteau to resign. Soon after, Arradondo became the first Black male to be the Chief of Police in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *