What You Need To Know:
The second week of the Derek Chauvin murder trial began with more medical witness testimony.
Dr. Brandon Langenfeld, of the Hennepin County Medical Center, testified that based on what paramedics reported and on George Floyd’s medical condition, the “more likely possibility” of Floyd’s cardiac arrest was hypoxia, or lack of oxygen.
The emergency room physician testified about the treatment of George Floyd upon his arrival at the local hospital May 25, 2020. He stated in court that Mr. Floyd’s heart was not beating by the time he arrived at the hospital. His testimony followed those of two paramedics who said last week that Mr. Floyd’s heart had stopped by the time they arrived to the scene of his arrest. Dr. Langenfeld reported the staff worked for about thirty minutes trying to restart the heart of the 46-year-old African American man.
The county medical examiner’s office ultimately classified Floyd’s death a homicide — that is, a death at the hands of someone else. The full report said Floyd died of “cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” A summary report listed fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use under “other significant conditions” but not under “cause of death.”
The long-awaited testimony of Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arredondo; Chief Arredondo fired Derek Chauvin and three other officers involved in George Floyd’s death. The chief’s testimony began with a long question and answer session about his background and experience during his more than thirty years with this police department. That was followed by testimony about policies and training procedures as taught to police personnel.
Chief Arradondo said Chauvin’s actions were “in no way, shape or form anything that is by policy, it’s not part of our training and is certainly not part of our ethics or values.” He said Chauvin’s restraint should have stopped once Floyd stopped resisting, and “certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, [Chauvin] should have stopped.”
There was considerable discussion about the policy of “de-escalation,” which requires officers to seek to minimize the use of physical force. Of Chauvin’s restraint against Floyd, the chief said, “That action is not de-escalation.”
Derek Chauvin is charged with second degree and third degree murder and manslaughter in George Floyd’s death May 25, 2020. The White former Minneapolis policeman is accused of pinning his knee on the 46-year-old man’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, as Floyd lay face-down in handcuffs outside a corner market, where he was accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill for a pack of cigarettes.