Kneeling on Floyd's neck violated policy: police chief
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Minneapolis (AFP) –
Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo testified on Monday that police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd's neck violated the department's restraint policy.
Arradondo, testifying at Chauvin's murder trial, said the use of force against Floyd during his May 25, 2020 arrest should have ended "once he stopped resisting."
"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, is not part of our training and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values," Arradondo said.
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 bystander kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, for more than nine minutes.
The video touched off protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States and around the world.
Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and manslaughter.
The first five days of his trial featured emotional testimony from bystanders who witnessed Floyd's arrest and repeatedly urged Chauvin to remove his knee from Floyd's neck.
- 'Hypoxia' -
Also testifying on Monday was the doctor who treated Floyd when he was brought to the emergency room at the Hennepin County Medical Center.
Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld said Floyd was in cardiac arrest when he arrived and 30 minutes of efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.
He said a lack of oxygen was the most likely reason Floyd's heart had stopped beating.
"I felt that hypoxia was one of the more likely possibilities," Langenfeld said.
Prosecutors are seeking to prove that Floyd's death was due to asphyxiation while Chauvin's defense attorney claims it was due to illegal drugs in his system.
Langenfeld said the two paramedics who brought Floyd to the hospital did not mention any drug use or the possibility that he had overdosed.
The longest-serving officer in the Minneapolis Police Department testified last week that Chauvin's use of force against Floyd was "totally unnecessary."
Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman said he had reviewed bystander and police bodycam video of Floyd's arrest and Chauvin had violated department policies on the use of force.
"Pulling him down to the ground facedown and putting your knee on a neck for that amount of time, it's just uncalled for," Zimmerman said.
Besides listening to the testimony of police officers and witnesses, the nine-woman, five-man jury hearing the case in a heavily guarded Minneapolis courtroom has been shown 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 -- are to be tried separately later this year.
© 2021 AFP