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4:30 p.m. court recesses for the day following inspector's testimony
Inspector Katie Blackwell, who oversaw the training off Minneapolis Police Department and has known Chauvin for 20 years, Monday called into question the appropriateness of Chauvin's kneeling on Floyd's neck.
"I don’t know what kind of improvised position that is. But that’s not how we train," she said when prosecutors showed her an image of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd.
The long-time city police officer was the last witness to be called on Monday. Court will resume at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, April 6.
4 p.m. Cross-examination of police chief concludes
Chief Arradondo Monday afternoon agreed with defense attorney that Derek Chauvin appeared not to be kneeling on George Floyd's neck for at least part of their encounter the night of May 25, 2020.
Arradondo agreed that body-worn camera footage depicting Floyd's arrest and shown to him in court by Chauvin's attorneys appeared to show the ex-cop kneeling on Floyd's shoulder blade instead. Prosecutors on re-direct said that portion of the video captured only the seconds before Floyd was transferred to a gurney by paramedics, however, seeming to suggest that Chauvin was kneeling on his neck in the minutes leading up to that point.
The chief agreed when prosecutors asked him if Chauvin appeared not to be kneeling on Floyd's shoulder blade in footage from earlier in the incident.
Many of the questions asked of Arradondo by Eric Nelson, Chauvin's attorney, focused on the city police department's use of force policies and external factors that can hinder their being followed. The chief did not directly respond to a question from Nelson as to whether the use of force can itself be a de-escalation tactic, but said threatening to use force can be.
After stepping off the witness stand, Minneapolis Police Department Inspector Katie Blackwell, formerly a training division commander, was called.
2:30 p.m. Police chief: Chauvin did not follow protocol
Ex-police officer Derek Chauvin did not follow the Minneapolis Police Department's policy on the use of force when kneeling on George Floyd's neck May, Chief Medaria Arradondo said.
Although the department at the time of Floyd's arrest allowed officers to use force in the form of neck holds, they can be performed only using "light to moderate pressure," according to policy documents reviewed and court testimony heard Monday. They also are not to be used on suspects who are "passively" resisting arrest, according policy documents reviewed reviewed that afternoon.
After viewing a still image taken from the widely seen cellphone video depicting Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck, Arradondo said Monday that "when I look at the facial expression of Mr. Floyd, that does not appear in any way shape or form that that is light to moderate pressure."
"I absolutely agree that it violates our policy," he said at the questioning of prosecuting attorney Steve Schleicher.
Floyd's arresting officers should have ceased their restraining of him after he stopped resisting arrest, Arradondo said, and after he became less responsive. Asked if there was a failure to follow policy by not rendering care to Floyd in the time between his becoming unresponsive and the arrival of paramedics to the scene of his arrest, the chief also said yes.
12:30 p.m.: Testimony of police chief refocuses on training
Chief Medaria Arradondo talked extensively Monday about the training and policies of the Minneapolis Police Department as part of his testimony in the Chauvin trial.
Attorney Steve Schleicher focused his questions to Arradondo on the city police department's policy on the use of force and de-escalation tactics.
Evidence introduced by Schleicher on Monday included copies of departmental policy documents, including one on "professional policing" that Arrondado said was "really about treating people with dignity and respect."
Other policies discussed included those focused on the response to drug-intoxicated individuals or those experiencing so-called "behavioral crises." The latter, Arrondado said, is "probably the one that our men and women experience in our communities the most," and have been triggered by events including family deaths and job losses."
Court went into recess, and will return at 1:30 p.m.
11:15 a.m. : Minneapolis police chief testifies
The head of the Minneapolis Police Department began his testimony Monday at mid-morning.
Special Assistant Attorney General for the Office of the Attorney General in Minnesota Steve Schleicher's initial battery of questions for Chief Medaria Arradondo focused on his background and career trajectory, as well as his responsibilities over the years. Arradondo has been a part of the city police force since 1989 and has served since 2017 as its top official.
Publicly, he has been critical of Chauvin and labelled Floyd's death a "murder."
10:30 a.m.: Doctor who pronounced George Floyd dead testifies
The doctor who pronounced George Floyd dead took to the witness stand Monday morning, April 5, as the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin entered its second week.
Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld told the prosecution that Floyd had been in a state of cardiac arrest for approximately 30 minutes prior to his arrival at the Hennepin County Medical Center that night of May 25, 2020. The paramedics who treated him beforehand tried to revive him in that time, he said.
Langenfeld told Special Attorney for the State of Minnesota Jerry Blackwell that the paramedics did not tell him that Floyd had a heart attack or was overdosing on drugs but that he had been in police custody. Asked if he had considered whether Floyd had used drugs that night, Langenfeld said he did so only "in the sense that it might have informed our care."
The doctor testified that, based on his observations and the briefing paramedics provided him, he felt that asphyxia, or a lack of oxygen, was the likely culprit of Floyd's cardiac arrest. Floyd also had low blood-oxygen levels, he said.
Langenfeld also said he considered whether acidosis, or the elevated presence of acid in body fluids, as a result of "excited delirium" had contributed to Floyd's death that night, but that the admittedly controversial diagnosis likely did not apply to the situation because Floyd did not appear to have been sweating.
Floyd had been in cardiac arrest for roughly one hour by the time Langenfeld declared him dead the night, the doctor said.
Chauvin's defense attorney asked if fentanyl, which was found in Floyd's system in an autopsy, could have caused his low blood-oxygen levels, which Langenfeld said was possible. Asked whether he had used naloxone or similar medications that reverse the effects of opioid overdoses, the doctor said he did not but added that they would not have been effective for an individual already in cardiac arrest.
Key stories this morning
- Sister of George Floyd spends day volunteering, keeping her mind off the Derek Chauvin trial
- Star Tribune: In rural Minnesota, where cops and community are familiar, Derek Chauvin trial looks different
- Minneapolis police veteran calls Derek Chauvin's actions against George Floyd 'totally unnecessary'
- AP: Chauvin’s trial leaves many Black viewers emotionally taxed