Apr 5, 2021
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo Testimony on Use of Force in Derek Chauvin Trial Transcript
Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo testified during Derek Chauvin’s trial for murder on April 5, 2021. He said Chauvin’s actions “absolutely” violated policy. Read the transcript of his testimony remarks here.
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Speaker 1: (00:00)
Do you recognize exhibit 17 to be an image taken from the bystander video that you reviewed?
Chief Arradondo: (00:06)
Yes, I do.
Speaker 1: (00:08)
Now, Sir, based upon your review of all of the information that you’ve just mentioned, do you believe that the defendant followed departmental policy 5-304 regarding de-escalation?
Chief Arradondo: (00:23)
I absolutely do not agree with that.
Speaker 1: (00:26)
And how so?
Chief Arradondo: (00:30)
That action is not de-escalation. And when we talk about the framework of our sanctity of life, and when we talk about the principles and values that we have, that action goes contrary to what we’re taught.
Speaker 1: (00:54)
As you reflect on exhibit 17, I must ask you, is this a trained Minneapolis Police Department defensive tactics technique?
Chief Arradondo: (01:03)
It is not.
Speaker 1: (01:06)
Well, we read the departmental policy on neck restraints. Is this a neck restraint?
Chief Arradondo: (01:12)
A conscious neck restraint by policy mentions light to moderate pressure. When I look at exhibit 17 and 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.
Speaker 1: (01:37)
So is it your belief then that this particular form of restraint, if that’s what we’ll call it, in fact violates departmental policy?
Chief Arradondo: (01:48)
I absolutely agree that violates our policy.
Speaker 1: (01:52)
Are you aware now that the defendant maintained this position on George Floyd for 9 minutes and 29 seconds?
Chief Arradondo: (01:58)
I am aware of that.
Speaker 1: (01:59)
And I believe you testified that force has to be reasonable when it’s applied at the beginning and through the entire encounter. Is that right?
Chief Arradondo: (02:07)
That is correct.
Speaker 1: (02:11)
Is what you see in exhibit 17, in your opinion, within Minneapolis Police departmental policy 5-300, authorizing the use of reasonable force?
Chief Arradondo: (02:22)
It is not.
Speaker 1: (02:24)
And why not?
Chief Arradondo: (02:29)
It has to be objective reasonable. We have to take into account circumstances, information, the threat to the officer, the threat to others, and the severity of that. So that is not a part of our policy. That is not what we teach, and that should be condoned.
Speaker 1: (02:56)
Do you have a belief as to when this restraint, the restraint on the ground that you viewed, should have stopped?
Chief Arradondo: (03:05)
Once Mr. Floyd, and this is based on my viewing of the videos… Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting, and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped. There’s an initial reasonableness in trying to just get him under control in the first few seconds, but once there was no longer any resistance, and clearly 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, it is not part of our training, and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values.
Speaker 1: (04:15)
Sir, based on your review of the video and based on your own experience and training as a MPD officer, did you see signs during the encounter that Mr. Floyd was exhibiting [inaudible 00:04:28] of being in medical distress?
Chief Arradondo: (04:32)
Speaker 1: (04:33)
And you saw at one point, I think you just testified, that Mr. Floyd was unresponsive.
Chief Arradondo: (04:41)
That is correct.
Speaker 1: (04:42)
And you’re aware that officers couldn’t find a pulse.
Chief Arradondo: (04:45)
Could you repeat that, Sir?
Speaker 1: (04:46)
Were you aware that officers at the time of the restraint were unable to find a pulse?
Chief Arradondo: (04:51)
Yes, I was aware of that.
Speaker 1: (04:53)
And so state it.
Chief Arradondo: (04:55)
I was aware that the officers were not able to find a pulse, yes.
Speaker 1: (04:59)
Did you see the defendant or any of the officers attempt to provide first aid to Mr. Floyd?
Chief Arradondo: (05:07)
I did not see any of the defendants try to attempt to provide first aid to Mr. Floyd.
Speaker 1: (05:13)
The defendant did not try CPR. He did not start chest compressions.
Speaker 3: (05:17)
Objection, argumentative and leading.
Speaker 4: (05:20)
Sustained as leading. Rephrase.
Speaker 1: (05:22)
Did you see them provide any medical attention?
Chief Arradondo: (05:29)
I did not.
Speaker 1: (05:32)
Then based on these observations, do you have an opinion as to whether the defendant violated MPD departmental policy 7-350 by failing to render aid to Mr. Floyd?
Chief Arradondo: (05:45)
I agree that the defendant violated our policy in terms of rendering aid.
Speaker 1: (05:52)
Thank you. I have no further questions at this time.