The chief of the police force of Minneapolis overwhelmed, Monday, his former agent Derek Chauvin, by declaring in front of the jurors that he had “violated the rules” of the police force during the arrest of George Floyd. Kneeling on the black forty-something’s neck “might be reasonable in the first few seconds to control him, but not after he stopped putting up resistance, and especially not after he had passed out,” Medaria said. Arradondo came to testify in uniform on the sixth day of this extraordinary trial.
“This is not part of our policy, of our training and is certainly not in accordance with our ethics, our values”, assailed this black man of 54 years, who has led the police of the northern metropolis for three years. the United States.
A more direct attack during the trial
On May 25, white policeman Derek Chauvin and three of his colleagues wanted to arrest the 46-year-old African-American on suspicion of having passed a fake $ 20 bill. To control him, they handcuffed him and pinned him to the ground. Derek Chauvin then knelt on his neck and maintained his pressure for nearly ten minutes.
Faced with the global outcry, Medaria Arradondo quickly dismissed these agents, while strongly criticizing their action. “The tragic death of George Floyd was not due to a training problem (…) It was a murder,” he wrote in a statement in early June.
On Monday, his attack was more indirect. He first insisted on the importance for the 700 or so officers serving in Minneapolis to show “compassion and dignity.” He then stressed that the use of force should be reserved for violent crimes and that using a counterfeit ticket did not fall into this category. He also criticized Derek Chauvin for not having “reassessed” George Floyd’s state of health during his speech. For all these reasons, “I vehemently deny that there was an appropriate use of force in this situation,” he said.
Katie Blackwell also deals a hard blow to this line of defense
Indicted for murder, Derek Chauvin, 45, pleads not guilty. In particular, he claims to have followed a procedure consistent with his training to control a recalcitrant suspect.
The former head of the Minneapolis Police Academy, Katie Blackwell, also dealt a heavy blow to this line of defense on Monday. Asked to comment on a photo from the drama, where we see Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, she said, pithy: “I don’t know what kind of position he improvised, but it’s not something. thing we teach. ”
In the United States, police officers who use excessive force are rarely let go by their superiors and, on the contrary, benefit from collective contracts, negotiated by their union, which are very protective. They are also very rarely prosecuted and even less often found guilty.
On the subject:
A trial that should last a few more weeks
Derek Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, however, snatched a concession from Medaria Arrandondo. On an image captured when an ambulance arrived, he admitted that Derek Chauvin no longer had his knee on his neck, but on George Floyd’s shoulder.
Me Nelson maintains that his client did not cause the death of the 40-year-old and that he died of an overdose. It is based on the presence of fentanyl, a powerful opioid, and methamphetamine, discovered during the autopsy of George Floyd who, however, identifies “neck compression” as the cause of death.
Many experts should discuss this later. As a foretaste, the prosecution called on Monday morning to the stand the emergency doctor who, after half an hour of unsuccessful efforts to revive the African-American, declared him dead. Bradford Langenfeld estimated that, on the basis of the evidence at his disposal, he had thought that “the lack of oxygen” or “asphyxiation” was “the most likely cause of death” of the forty-something.
The hearing will resume on Tuesday and is expected to last another two or three weeks. Jurors will deliver their verdict in late April or early May. The three former colleagues of Derek Chauvin will be tried for complicity in murder in August.