Minneapolis Police Chief: Derek Chauvin's restraint of George Floyd violated policies, training
(FOX 9) - The state called Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo to the stand Monday as the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd, entered its second week of testimony. The trial is being broadcast live, gavel to gavel, on FOX 9 and streaming live at fox9.com/live.
Here are the witnesses who testified on Monday:
- Minneapolis Police Department Inspector Katie Blackwell
- Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. He testified that Chauvin violated several police department policies by kneeling on Floyd's neck for as long as he did, including de-escalation and reasonable use of force.
- Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld, who was finishing his residency at the Hennepin County Medical Center last summer. He officially pronounced George Floyd dead at the hospital on May 25, 2020. He testified that he tried to resuscitate Floyd when he was brought to the hospital that night.
Arradondo testified that Chauvin went against his training and violated several of the police department’s policies on May 25, 2020 when he kneeled on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes.
"Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped," Arradondo said, after testifying earlier that sanctity of life is the "pillar" of the department’s use of force policy.
"There’s an initial reasonableness in trying to just get him under control in the first few seconds," Arradondo said. "But once there was no longer any resistance, and clearly when he 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 is certainly not part of our ethics or values."
‘That is not what we teach’
Arradondo said sanctity of life is the pillar of the police department’s use of force policy.
"It is my belief that our one singular incident we will be judged on forever will be our use of force. While it is absolutely imperative that our officers go home at the end of their shift, we want to make sure and ensure that our community members go home too."
Arradondo testified that Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck is "not what we teach" and is "absolutely" violates MPD’s use of force policy.
"It has to be objectively reasonable," he said of officers’ use of force. "We have to take into account the circumstances, information, the threat to the officers, the threat to others, the severity of that. That is not part of our policy, that is not what we teach and that should be condoned."
Floyd family staying strong through trial
George Floyd’s brother, Terrance Floyd, was in the court room for the Floyd family Monday morning. He told pool reporters listening to the testimony is difficult, but his family is staying strong through the trial.
"When they say ‘Floyd strong’ that’s us," he said.
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Key moments from first week of witness testimony
The first witness to be called in the trial was 911 dispatch operator Jena Scurry. Scurry is the one who saw Floyd’s arrest on a police camera and, for the first time in her career, called the police on the police.
Scurry testified that she was watching the incident unfold on the TV monitors in the dispatch center the night of May 25, 2020 and said she became concerned that "something wasn’t right" when she did not see any movement on the screens.
In her call to the on duty sergeant, David Pleoger, Scurry tells him, "You can call me a snitch if you want to," before explaining that the live video showed "all of them sat on this man," referring to Chauvin and the other officers that restrained Floyd.
Donald Williams, a trained mixed martial arts fighter who witnessed Floyd’s deadly arrest, testified that he called 911 because he believed he "witnessed a murder." He is the one who can be heard in videos of the incident telling officers to get off Floyd, that they were killing him.
Darnella Frazier, the young woman who took the widely shared Facebook video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd, got emotional as she testified on Tuesday.
Frazier, who was 17 at the time, described seeing Floyd on the ground with Chauvin kneeling on him. She said Floyd was "terrified, scared, begging for his life."
Frazier tearfully told the jury she stays up at night "apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting, not saving his life."
Genevieve Hansen, a Minneapolis firefighter, was on a walk in her neighborhood on May 25, 2020 when she came upon the scene at Cup Foods. In the video she took of the incident, she can be heard asking officers if they checked Floyd’s pulse.
Hansen testified that she 'desperately' wanted to help provide medical attention to George Floyd, but officers kept her at bay.
Charles McMillian, a bystander, got choked up as he watched the videos of Floyd’s deadly arrest played back in court on Wednesday. McMillian is heard in the videos telling Floyd, "You can’t win" with police. McMillian said by speaking to Floyd, he was trying to help make the situation easier.
McMillian’s testimony was also the first time any of Chauvin’s body camera video had been made public. The body camera footage showed an exchange between Chauvin and McMillian immediately after Floyd had been taken away by ambulance.
George Floyd’s girlfriend, Courteney Ross, testified on Thursday about her relationship with Floyd and the couple’s shared struggles with opioid addiction.
She said they both went through periods of using and sobriety over the three years of their relationship. She told the jury she believed he was using again in the weeks before his death.
Finally, on Friday, Lt. Richard Zimmerman, head of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Homicide Unit, took the stand. Zimmerman has been with the MPD since 1985 and is the person with the most seniority on the force.
Zimmerman testified that kneeling on someone’s neck would be considered deadly force because "if your knee is on a person’s neck, that can kill them." He added that once someone is handcuffed, their threat level goes "down all the way" and their safety and wellbeing becomes the officer’s responsibility.
Zimmerman called Chauvin’s use of deadly force against Floyd "totally unnecessary."
"Pulling him down on the ground, face down, and putting your knee on a neck for that amount of time, it’s just uncalled for," he told the jury. "I saw no reason why the officers felt they were in danger, if that’s what they felt."
Derek Chauvin charges
Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder, second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death last May.
Judge Cahill reinstated the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin during the first week of the trial.
Chauvin trial streaming and TV information
The Chauvin trial will be live streamed, gavel to gavel, at fox9.com/live and the FOX 9 News App. You can also find the FOX 9 stream on Tubi through connected TVs. When the trial itself begins March 29, FOX 9 will broadcast it live on FOX 9 for the duration, including a quick recap of the day when court adjourns, followed by the FOX 9 News at 5.
Who is in the courtroom?
- Trial Judge Peter Cahill
- 1 judge's clerk
- 1 court reporter
- Derek Chauvin, the defendant
- The jury. The empaneled jury will consist of 12 jurors and 2 alternates.
- Up to 4 lawyers or staff for the prosecution, led by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank.
- Defense attorney Eric Nelson and up to 2 staff from his law firm
- 1 witness at a time in the courtroom
- 1 George Floyd family member
- 1 Derek Chauvin family member
- 2 members of pooled media - 1 print and 1 broadcast or digital media
- 1 broadcast technician
The Derek Chauvin trial is being held in Courtroom 1856 of the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis. Court will begin at 9 a.m. and will adjourn at 4:30 p.m. most days.
Opening statements in the trial are scheduled to begin on March 29. A verdict is not expected until mid to late April.
QUICK READ: Derek Chauvin trial essential info and FAQs
Who are the selected jurors?
Fifteen jurors were seated during jury selection, but Judge Cahill dismissed the 15th juror before opening statements. The 14 remaining jurors will hear the whole case, but only 12 will deliberate. The two alternate jurors will step in if one of the 12 has to excuse themselves from the case. Judge Cahill has instructed the jurors to avoid any media coverage of the trial.
- Juror No. 2: White man in his 20s
- Juror No. 9: Mixed/multiracial woman in her 20s
- Juror No. 19: White man in his 30s
- Juror No. 27: Black man in his 30s
- Juror No. 44: White woman in her 50s
- Juror No. 52: Black man in his 30s
- Juror No. 55: White woman in her 50s
- Juror No. 79: Black man in his 40s
- Juror No. 85: Mixed/multiracial woman in her 40s
- Juror No. 89: White woman in her 50s
- Juror No. 91: Black woman in her 60s
- Juror No. 92: White woman in her 40s
- Juror No. 96: White woman in her 50s
- Juror No. 118: White woman in her 20s
READ MORE: Who are the selected jurors?
Jurors will only be referred to by a random, previously assigned number because Judge Cahill has ordered their identities to remain a secret for the duration of the trial. At the conclusion of the trial, Judge Cahill will decide when the jurors’ identities can be made public.
The jury will be partially sequestered during the trial and fully sequestered while they are deliberating, which means they cannot go home until they reach a verdict or the judge determines they are hung. However, the judge can order full sequestration of the jury at any time if the partial sequestration proves ineffective in keeping the jurors free from outside influence.
Courtroom 1856 was renovated specifically for the Derek Chauvin trial to maximize capacity and maintain COVID-19 social distancing standards. The courtroom is located on the 18th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center.
Judge Cahill has ordered certain behavior in the courtroom:
Jurors, attorneys, witnesses and support staff must wear masks and keep six feet from other people.
Masks can be removed when giving testimony, examining witnesses, giving opening statements or closing arguments. Attorneys must conduct all witness examinations and arguments from the lectern.
Any sidebar conferences will be conducted over wireless headsets. Chauvin will be outfitted with a headset to listen to these conferences, which will be off-the-record.
Jurors will be escorted to courtroom each day by deputies or security. No one can have contact with jurors except the judge, court personnel and deputies. Any attorney contact is limited to the jury selection process when court is in session.
Jurors will only be referred to by a randomized number.
Death of George Floyd
George Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020 while being detained by Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue. The intersection has remained closed to traffic since Floyd's death and has been dubbed George Floyd Square.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 17: People participate in a demonstration on August 17, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Community members came together for a rally to protest the city's potential forceful reopening 38th Street and Chicago Ave, an unofficial
A widely-shared video taken by a bystander showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while he repeatedly cried, "I can’t breathe."
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced the firing of all four officers the following day. Chauvin was arrested and charged with Floyd’s death on May 29 and the three others were arrested and charged with aiding and abetting on June 3.
TIMELINE: George Floyd's death to Derek Chauvin's trial
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's report ruled the death of George Floyd a homicide. The updated report stated that George Floyd experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement.