According to court testimony from the force’s police chief, the officers’ conduct immediately preceding George Floyd’s death were in violation of Minneapolis police policy.
The decision by now-fired officer Derek Chauvin to kneel on Mr Floyd’s neck was “in no way, shape, or type” part of department policy or training, according to Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, and “certainly not part of our ethics or values.”
Mr Chauvin, 45, is accused of murder and manslaughter in the death of Mr Floyd.
Outside a corner market where Mr Floyd had been arrested on suspicion of attempting to pass a bogus $US20 bill ($26) for a pack of cigarettes, he is accused of grinding his knee into the deceased’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.
The video of Mr Floyd’s arrest and subsequent death was broadcast around the world, reigniting a discussion about anti-black racism led by the Black Lives Matter movement.
Mr. Arradondo, the city’s first black police chief, fired Mr. Chauvin and three other officers the day after Mr. Floyd died in May, calling the death “murder” in June.
On the sixth day of Mr Chauvin’s trial, the chief stated that his officer was guilty of several violations of duty, including: failing to let Mr Floyd up sooner; the pressure on Mr Floyd’s neck did not appear to be light to moderate; failing to provide first aid before the ambulance arrived; and violating policy requiring officers to de-escalate ten times.
“We talk about the framework of our sanctity of life and when we talk about our principles and the values that we have, that action goes contrary to what we are talking about,” Chief Arradondo said.
Inspector Katie Blackwell, the training division commander at the time of Mr Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, agreed with the chief’s assessment.
She said that Mr Chauvin, a 19-year police officer, would have been taught to restrain a person’s neck with one or two arms rather than his knee.
Asphyxia was the Cause of Floyd’s Death
Mr Floyd’s heart had stopped by the time Bradford Langenfeld arrived at the hospital that night as a senior resident on duty at Hennepin County Medical Center and attempted to resuscitate him.
Dr. Langenfeld said he was not informed of any attempts to resuscitate Mr Floyd at the scene by bystanders or police, despite paramedics telling him they had attempted for about 30 minutes. He said he tried for another 30 minutes later.
Mr Floyd’s cardiac arrest was “more likely” caused by asphyxia, or a lack of oxygen, he said.
Floyd’s Death is Blamed on his Health and Drug use
Mr Chauvin’s defense team argues that the officer did as he was taught to do and that Mr Floyd died as a result of his substance use and underlying health issues.
Mr. Chauvin’s lawyer, Mr. Nelson, inquired of Dr. Langenfeld about the possibility of certain medications causing hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen.
Fentanyl and methamphetamine, both of which were detected in Mr Floyd’s body, can do this, according to the doctor.
Mr Floyd’s death was eventually reported as a suicide — a death caused by someone else — by the county medical examiner’s office.
Mr Floyd died of “cardiopulmonary arrest, complicated by law enforcement subdual, detention, and neck compression,” according to the autopsy.
Fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use were classified as “other serious conditions” but not as “cause of death” in a summary study.
Floyd was Restrained by Officers Before Paramedics Arrived
Although some people may become more violent while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, others may become “more vulnerable,” according to prosecutor Steve Schleicher.
Mr. Arradondo agreed and acknowledged that when officers decide to use force, this must be taken into account.
Mr Floyd fought police who were trying to place him in a patrol car, claiming he was claustrophobic, before being held to the ground.
Officers kept restraining Mr Floyd — with Mr Chauvin kneeling on his stomach, another kneeling on Mr Floyd’s back and a third covering his feet — before the paramedics arrived, even after he became unresponsive, according to testimony and video evidence.
Off-duty Minneapolis firefighter who tried to administer assistance or advise police how to do it was also turned down by the officers.
This week’s trial will proceed.
Source: ABC World News