Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified Monday that police officer Derek Chauvin, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, violated the department’s restraint policy.
Arradondo, who testified at Chauvin’s murder trial, said the use of force against Floyd during the arrest on May 25, 2020, should have ceased “when he stopped resisting.”
“When Mr. Floyd was no longer sensitive and even immobile to continue to apply that level of force to a person who was taken out, handcuffed behind his back, that it is in no way, form or form something that is of politics, is not a part of our education and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values, says Arradondo.
Arradondo, 54, fired Chauvin and the three other officers involved in the arrest that led to Floyd’s death within days of the incident.
Chauvin, who is white, was seen in a video taken by a spectator who knelt on the neck of a handcuffed Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, for more than nine minutes.
The video touched on protests against racial error and police brutality in the United States and around the world.
Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter.
The first five days of his trial included emotional testimony from spectators who witnessed Floyd’s arrest and repeatedly urged Chauvin to remove his knee from Floyd’s neck.
Witnesses also on Monday were the doctor who treated Floyd when he was taken to the emergency room at Hennepin County Medical Center.
Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld said Floyd was in cardiac arrest when he arrived and a 30-minute attempt to revive him failed.
He said the lack of oxygen was the most likely reason why Floyd’s heart stopped beating.
“I felt that hypoxia was one of the most likely possibilities,” Langenfeld said.
Prosecutors are trying to prove that Floyd’s death was due to suffocation, while Chauvin’s defenders claim that it was due to illegal drugs in his system.
Langenfeld said the two paramedics who took Floyd to the hospital did not mention any drug use or the possibility that he had overdosed.
The longest-serving Minneapolis police officer testified last week that Chauvin’s use of force against Floyd was “completely unnecessary.”
Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman said he had examined bystanders and the police video camera about Floyd’s arrest and Chauvin had violated the department’s policy of violence.
“Pulling him down to the ground face down and putting his knee on a neck for such a long time is just undesirable,” Zimmerman said.
In addition to listening to the testimony of police and witnesses, the nine-woman, five-member jury that heard the case in a closely guarded courtroom in Minneapolis, showed the graphic video of Floyd’s arrest.
Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge – second-degree murder.
The other three former police officers involved in the arrest – Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng – will be tried separately later this year.