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Chauvin trial: 'Absolutely that violates our policy' police chief says of former officer's actions

ER physician says Floyd likely died of suffocation
George Floyd Officer Trial
Posted at 5:31 AM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-05 17:41:28-04

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis Police Chief says former officer Derek Chauvin’s actions against George Floyd violated department policy. Chief Medaria Arradondo testified as part of the trial against Chauvin for Floyd’s death.

Arradondo said continuing to apply maximum restraint on a person who is handcuffed and prone was “in no way, shape or form” part of the department’s policy or training “and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values.”

Chief Arradondo told the court "I absolutely do not agree" that Chauvin followed department policy about de-escalation. "Absolutely that violates our policy."

"Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting, and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped," Arradondo told the court when asked about when the use of force on Floyd should have stopped.

Earlier in the day, the Emergency Room physician who treated Floyd when he arrived at the hospital testified. Dr. Bradford Langenfeld said he came to the conclusion that Floyd likely died because he was deprived of oxygen.

Below is a live blog of today’s court proceedings.

Court TV will be the only network with cameras in the courtroom and will provide live, gavel-to-gavel coverage.

Find Court TV's full coverage of MN v. Derek Chauvin HERE.

UPDATE, 5 p.m. ET: Prosecutors called Katie Blackwell to the stand to testify. She is an inspector with the 5th precinct with the Minneapolis Police Department. She used to be the commander of the training department.

Blackwell discussed what kinds of training are offered and details of the use of force training given to officers.

WATCH coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial HERE

Court TV will be the only network with cameras in the courtroom and will provide live, gavel-to-gavel coverage.
Find Court TV's full coverage of MN v. Derek Chauvin HERE.

UPDATE, 3:30 p.m. ET: During cross examination from the defense attorney, Eric Nelson, the chief was asked about the evolution of defensive tactics versus a policy change or best practice. As an example, Nelson said the training changed about 15 years ago to evolve into more of a martial arts style rather than striking, or hitting, a suspect.

Nelson asked if use of force could be used as de-escalation. The chief said he was more familiar with a display like showing a gun or yelling being used to de-escalate a situation.

After showing the chief video clips from officers' body cameras from the scene, Nelson asked Arradondo if it appears Chauvin's knee is on Floyd's shoulder blade. Arrandondo said yes, it did.

Immediately after, under re-questioning from prosecutors, the chief was asked when he saw Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck and when it was on the shoulder blade. Arradondo said a clip right before the ambulance arrived was the first time he saw Chauvin's knee move to Floyd's shoulder blade.

"I did not observe Mr. Floyd actively resisting during that time," Arradondo said about a clip of the video.

Arradondo said any maximum restraint technique should immediately get a person out of the prone position because of the concerns of positional asphyxia, and blocking the airways.

Nelson again asked Arradondo if there would be a situation where an officer had to apply restraint before medical aid could be delivered, such as a situation where there were concerns about officer safety or safety to others.

Court TV will be the only network with cameras in the courtroom and will provide live, gavel-to-gavel coverage.
Find Court TV's full coverage of MN v. Derek Chauvin HERE.

UPDATE, 2:30 p.m. ET: Police Chief Medaria Arradondo returns to the witness stand following a lunch break. Prosecutors are narrowing their line of questioning to use-of-force situations and training.

The chief explains that officers are trained on basic first aid because they are sometimes called to situations where it's required; things like choking, chest compressions, etc.

"We absolutely have a duty to render that aid (medical response)," Arradondo said under questioning.

After going over the use of force policy with the department, Chief Arradondo talked about how his department's use of force will be the thing the community judges them on.

"We have a duty of care," the chief said, and when a suspect is in custody "we have to make sure we are taking care of them."

Prosecutors presented several department policies on training, deescalation procedures, and definitions of use of force tactics.

The chief says on May 25, 2020, after learning about an incident between officers and George Floyd, he viewed the city surveillance video from the intersection.

"There was nothing in the terms of the actions that jumped out at me," Arradondo said when he originally watched it. "It was when paramedics arrived and put Mr. Floyd on the gurney that I first saw him."

The chief says he was contacted later by someone who asked if he had seen the "bystander video" of the incident.

"I was able to see the occurrence, see the officers involved, I was actually able to see Mr. Floyd and hear what was occurring. I was also able to get a better idea of the length of time," Arradondo said.

Chief Arradondo told the court "I absolutely do not agree" that Chauvin followed department policy about de-escalation. "Absolutely that violates our policy."

"Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting, and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped," Arradondo told the court when asked about when the use of force on Floyd should have stopped.

The chief repeated that the actions he saw in the video of the incident with Floyd is not part of department training.

Monday morning, a chair inside the courtroom set aside for the family member or friend of Derek Chauvin was removed because no one had used it since court proceedings began March 8. It will be returned if anyone needs it. Because of coronavirus pandemic safety protocols, only one family member or friend for each Floyd and Chauvin were allowed to attend each day's proceedings.

Court TV will be the only network with cameras in the courtroom and will provide live, gavel-to-gavel coverage.
Find Court TV's full coverage of MN v. Derek Chauvin HERE.

UPDATE, 12:30 p.m. ET: Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo takes the stand. Arradondo fired Chauvin last summer along with three other officers who responded to the Cup Foods on May 25, 2020.

He explains the training he received back in 1989 in the academy, and then how "training should evolve" and how the training that recruits get now is "better" than what he received in the past.

After walking through the levels of training recruits, cadets and ongoing training officers receive, Chief Arradondo was asked to quantify how much training officers get in his department.

"It's a lot. We put a lot of time, energy and resources into our training," Arradondo said, adding that roughly $8.5 million was spent training in their budget.

The chief said it's important for his officers to meet the community where they are, and said they need to respond in a way that meets "what our community needs."

"We don't have the luxury of going up to a community member and saying, 'those 99 other calls I've been on went great, trust me,'" Arradondo said, adding that training is important because the "first time someone encounters a police officer may be the only time."

Court TV will be the only network with cameras in the courtroom and will provide live, gavel-to-gavel coverage.
Find Court TV's full coverage of MN v. Derek Chauvin HERE.

UPDATE: 10:30 a.m. ET: Prosecutors called the emergency room physician who was at the hospital when George Floyd arrived.

The doctor, Bradford Langenfeld, outlined what tests and observations were made before declaring Floyd dead. Langenfeld said he came to the conclusion that Floyd likely died because he was deprived of oxygen.

The defense attorney asked questions if the symptoms could have been caused by fentanyl use. Langenfeld said while some of the symptoms may overlap, Floyd did not display signs of "excited delirium" which is commonly caused by drug use, he told the court, along with other factors.

“I didn’t have any reason to believe that that was the case here,” Langenfeld said.

Original story below:

The murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will continue on Monday after an opening week of testimony that was often emotional for witnesses.

Jurors heard from more than a dozen witnesses in the opening days of the trial last week, many of whom broke down in tears when describing the events of May 25, 2020 — the day George Floyd died in police custody.

The Associated Press reports that testimony on Monday will move toward Chauvin’s training as a police officer. Prosecutors allege that Chauvin’s actions — particularly kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes — led to Floyd’s death. The defense claims that Chauvin was merely following his training as a police officer.

Testimony in the trial concluded for the week on Friday when two Minneapolis police officers criticized Chauvin’s actions during the arrest of Floyd. Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman called Chauvin’s use of force on Floyd “totally unnecessary” and “uncalled for.”

Floyd's girlfriend also took the stand last week, describing him as a kind man and a "mama's boy," but also a person who struggled with substance abuse. The defense has argued that Floyd's drug use contributed to his death.

Others who testified last week included the teenager that recorded the now-infamous bystander video that showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes. She testified that the video “changed her life,” and she regretted not doing more to intervene on Floyd’s behalf.

She was joined last week by an employee who worked at a convenience store that Floyd visited shortly before his death. Christopher Martin testified that when Floyd tried to pay for cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill, he initially considered “helping him out” and putting the cigarettes on his tab. Instead, he told his manager, and one of Martin’s coworkers later called the police — setting into motion a chain of events that led to Floyd’s death.

“If I would have just not taken the bill, this could have all been avoided," Martin said.

The trial of Derek Chauvin resumes Monday at 10:30 a.m. ET.

WATCH coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial HERE.

Court TV will be the only network with cameras in the courtroom and will provide live, gavel-to-gavel coverage.
The entire trial will be on live TV as well as available online at CourtTV.com, and the Court TV app for Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android and Apple devices.

In addition to in-depth reporting and expert analysis from veteran legal journalists — most of whom are lawyers — Court TV’s extensive coverage will include new virtual recreations, and insights and discussions from attorneys, investigators and forensic experts.