Monday marked day six of the Derek Chauvin trial. Derek Chauvin, 45 is charged in the killing of George Floyd.
The first Black chief of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), Medaria Arrandondo testified, along with the doctor who pronounced Floyd dead on May 25, 2020, Dr. Bradford Langenfeld.
While the defense continues to argue that proper departmental policy and procedure was followed, Chief Arrandando offered opposing testimony about the former officer’s use of a tactic called the “conscious neck restraint.” Listed as a “non-deadly force option” for eight years prior to the trial, the conscious neck restraint allowed for light pressure applied to the neck of a person actively resisting.
“Once Mr. Floyd has stopped resisting and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped,” said Arrandondo.
“There’s an initial reasonableness in trying to just get him under control in the first few seconds. But once there was no longer any resistance and clearly, when Mr. Floyd was no longer responsive and even motionless, to continue to apply that level of force to a person, proned out, handcuffed behind their back, that in no way shape or form is anything that is by policy; it is not part of our training and it certainly not part of our ethics or our values.”
The same sentiment was shared by the longest-tenured officer of the MPD, Lt. Richard Zimmerman on Friday.
A Look at Day Six:
- Judge Peter Cahill
- Medaria Arrandondo, Chief of the Minneapolis Police Department
- Dr. Bradford Langenfeld, Emergency Room Physician, Hennepin County Medical Center
- Katie Blackwell, former commander of the Minneapolis police department
Judge Cahill conducted a ‘Schwartz hearing’ with the jurors to determine whether an outside influence has had a prejudicial effect on the jury. The judge did not disclose details of the brief hearing and ultimately found that there was no jury misconduct.
Emergency Medical Response
During his testimony, Arradondo also stated that officers are required to provide necessary first aid while waiting for EMS.
Training and Use of Force
Former training commander, Katie Blackwell was shown a still image of George Floyd being restrained by former officer Chauvin. When asked if what she saw was a standard restraint technique taught to officers, she replied “It is not.” She continued by saying “I don’t know what kind of improvised position that is, so that’s not what we train.”
Expert Witness Testimony
Without the jury present, the defense and prosecution engaged in a dispute regarding the types of training Chauvin received and whether police officers are allowed to give their opinion on the matter. Judge Cahill ruled that further testimony about training must be about training Chauvin actually received if it will be used as evidence against Chauvin or to counter the testimony of a previous witness.
Department Policy on Neck Restraints
After the May 25th death of George Floyd, all forms of police chokeholds and neck restraints have been banned by the MPD.
As the Trial Continues
The defense argues that proper police procedure was followed and Floyd succumbed to drug use and underlying health conditions. The prosecution has presented evidence and testimony to support their argument that Chauvin caused the death of Floyd, 46, by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds.
Want to know more? Check out previous updates here.
Monique Wingard is an entrepreneur, educator, and doctoral student in communication, culture, and media studies. Follow her on Instagram @moniquewingard.