Derek Chauvin’s use of his knee on George Floyd’s neck was against policy, says Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo during his Monday testimony.
On Day 6 of Chauvin’s murder trial, Arradondo took the stand and denounced the former cop’s use of force on the unarmed Black man, who died on May 25, 2020.
"Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting, and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped," Arradondo testified.
While the police chief concedes that “there is an initial reasonableness in trying to just get him under control in the first few seconds," Arrandondo said Chauvin’s actions became excessive 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,” he said, adding, "It is not part of our training, and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values.”
Ultimately, Arrandondo — the highest-ranking public safety employee to testify against Chauvin — said the disgraced officer violated department policies on rendering medical aid, use of force, neck restraints, and de-escalation.
That day, two other officers testified against Chauvin’s actions.
Inspector Katie Blackwell, who lead the department's training unit last year, admitted that while neck restraints were permitted at the time of the incident, an officer should use only their arms in such positions.
"I don't know what kind of improvised position that is," she testified. "That's not what we train."
Lt. Richard Zimmerman, the head of the police homicide unit, cited police body camera footage and suggested that Chauvin's use of force was extreme.
"Pulling him down to the ground, face down, and putting your knee on the neck for that amount of time — it's just uncalled for," Zimmerman testified. "I saw no reason why the officers felt they were in danger, if that's what they felt, and that's what they would have to feel to be able to use that kind of force."
On the first day of Chauvin’s trial, defense attorney Eric Nelson claimed his client used a “necessary” amount of force and blamed Floyd’s death on his health conditions and drug use.
“You will learn that Derek Chauvin did exactly what he had been trained to do over the course of his 19-year career,” Nelson said during his opening statement.
Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. He has pleaded not guilty to all of these counts.