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George Floyd: Derek Chauvin violated policy, Minneapolis police chief says

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BBC


The police chief of Minneapolis has testified that ex-officer Derek Chauvin violated the agency’s policy on force during the arrest of George Floyd.

Chief Medaria Arradondo said the way Chauvin restrained Floyd was not in line with training and “certainly not part of our ethics and our values”.

The chief fired Chauvin and the three other officers involved days after Floyd’s death last May.

Chauvin, who is on trial for murder, has denied the charges against him.

Footage of Chauvin, who is white, kneeling on African-American  Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes last year sparked global protests against racism

Monday marks the sixth day in Chauvin’s trial, which is expected to last for at least one month.

As police officers are rarely convicted or charged at all for deaths that occur in custody, the verdict in this trial is being seen as an indication of how the US legal system will treat such cases in future.

What did the police chief say?

Prosecutors, who are seeking to prove that  Chauvin’s actions violated his training, focused their questions on departmental guidelines and strategies taught to help officers de-escalate situations.

Arradondo told the court Floyd should not have been restrained in the manner used by the officers after he stopped resisting, “and certainly [not] once he was in distress”.

He said the type of restraint  Chauvin, 45, was using came “once there was no longer any resistance and clearly after  Floyd was no longer responsive – and even motionless”.

“That is, in no way, shape or form, by policy, is not part of our training, and is certainly not part of our ethics and our values.”

Arradondo also noted it would be rare for officers to take into custody a suspect accused of passing a counterfeit bill, as Floyd was.

The police chief said “talking your way out of a situation” was always better than using force, adding that officers may seek the “community’s help” when available.

Defence lawyer Eric Nelson questioned Arradondo about officers brandishing a weapon to defuse a situation, as  Chauvin did by holding up pepper spray to onlookers.

“Sometimes an officer has to take out his gun, and say, ‘hey, if you don’t listen to me, I’m going use force,'”  Nelson said.

The chief agreed it was in line with policy to sometimes gesture in such a way to get a suspect to back down.

When Nelson showed different angles of footage of the arrest, Arradondo also noted that right before the paramedics arrived, it appeared that Chauvin had shifted his knee onto Floyd’s shoulder blade.