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US How Derek Chauvin's trial is bringing down the blue wall

04:15  08 april  2021
04:15  08 april  2021 Source:   nbcnews.com

Derek Chauvin used force against arrestees 6 other times. The jury in the George Floyd case won't hear about them.

  Derek Chauvin used force against arrestees 6 other times. The jury in the George Floyd case won't hear about them. Prosecutors tried to introduce six incidents in which they say Derek Chauvin used unreasonable force on people. The judge didn't allow them.The jury considering murder and manslaughter charges against Chauvin won't hear about any of them. And their verdict may be influenced as much by what they don't know as what they do.

Chauvin ' s restraint of Floyd, however, was measured, Butler said. "He had 9 minutes and 29 seconds to consider his actions," he said. The international protests against racism and police brutality spurred by Floyd's death also may be a reason why the blue wall of silence has crumbled in this case, Butler said. "I think the officers who are testifying want to model what good cops look like, both for the jury and the public in contrast to Chauvin ," he said. "I've been impressed by how many officers are willing to go on the record about how Chauvin violated both police procedures and criminal law."

Chauvin clambered over the retaining wall and went rampaging through a community — pinning George Floyd to the ground with force and traumatizing a crowd of bystanders by refusing to heed their pleas for him to show mercy. Inspector Katie Blackwell calmly sipped from a travel mug as she characterized Chauvin ’ s restraint of Floyd as outside the training and stated policy of the department to which he once belonged. The blue wall of police solidarity has not fallen, letting a flood of muck flow. Systemic biases have not come tumbling down . Officers still hate it when citizens record them on duty.

During his lengthy testimony Monday, the chief of the Minneapolis Police Department minced no words in condemning the actions of Derek Chauvin, the former officer who is charged with murder in the death of George Floyd.

a man smiling for the camera © Provided by NBC News

"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," Chief Medaria Arradondo said. "It is not part of our training, and it is certainly not part of our ethics or values."

Arradondo's testimony should have come as no surprise. In his opening statement, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told jurors Arradondo would not hold back in his assessment that when Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for 9 minutes, 29 seconds last May, he used "excessive force."

The judge in the Derek Chauvin case is orchestrating one of the nation’s most widely watched murder trials. Meet Peter Cahill.

  The judge in the Derek Chauvin case is orchestrating one of the nation’s most widely watched murder trials. Meet Peter Cahill. While Judge Peter Cahill allowed cameras in the courtroom for the first time in Minnesota state history, he's also been strict on other matters.That is exactly where Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill finds himself in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, entering its sixth week and bringing daily controversy and scrutiny to every step taken in the courtroom.

As the trial of Derek Chauvin continued on Wednesday, chalk drawings and signage memorializing George Floyd could be seen on streets and walls of Minneapolis. The prosecution is bringing up the question of Floyd’ s drug use with Reyerson, who is discussing how he investigated Floyd’ s death, inspected the crime scene and examined autopsy test results. Prosecutors have spent considerable time during their presentation of the case dealing with defense assertions that drugs played a role in Floyd' s death.

Testimony in the trial of Derek Chauvin resumes Wednesday after the use-of-force coordinator for the Minneapolis Police Department said the former officer used a neck restraint on George Floyd that was unauthorized because he was handcuffed and not resisting arrest. Latest: Stiger observes that Chauvin did not follow pain compliance with Floyd: ‘It’ s just pain’. The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin continues on April 7. This stream contains graphic content. (The Washington Post).

Still Arradondo's testimony was rare. That he was joined by a string of law enforcement officers was remarkable.

Among those joining Arradondo on the stand as prosecution witnesses were Lt. Richard Zimmerman, the longest-serving police officer in the Minneapolis Police Department, and Inspector Katie Blackwell, who at the time of Floyd's death was the commander of the training division.

Chauvin's former supervisor, Sgt. David Pleoger, also admonished his actions. Pleoger testified Thursday that, among other things, when Floyd "was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint" and that Chauvin did not initially divulge that he knelt on Floyd's neck.

Expert: Lack of oxygen killed George Floyd, not drugs

  Expert: Lack of oxygen killed George Floyd, not drugs MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — George Floyd died of a lack of oxygen from the way he was held down by police, a retired forensic pathologist testified Friday at former Officer Derek Chauvin's murder trial. The testimony of Lindsey Thomas, who retired in 2017 from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office in Minneapolis, bolstered the findings of other experts on Thursday who rejected the defense theory that Floyd’s drug use and underlying health problems killed him.

Expert Witness in Derek Chauvin Trial Says His ‘Force Was Excessive’. Last Updated. While the first week of the trial brought emotional testimony from bystanders, Tuesday’ s proceedings seemed The Chauvin trial is expected to last several weeks, and the three cable news networks are likely to “You talked about how sometimes E.M. S . will stage off site until the scene is clear and safe, correct?”

Derek Chauvin received training on medical aid, use of force, former training supervisor says. Navigating jargon and statutes, his testimony in former officer Derek Chauvin ’ s trial is crucial in determining whether Mr. Chauvin is criminally responsible for George Floyd’s death. The prosecution must show that Mr. Chauvin “acted unreasonably and out of the bounds” of his training and the standards set by Minnesota, said David Schultz, a law professor at the University of Minnesota.

Arradondo, Zimmerman, Pleoger and Blackwell did not protect Chauvin behind the so-called blue wall of silence for various reasons, legal experts say. The "blue wall of silence" is a term used to describe an unofficial oath among police officers not to report a colleague's wrongdoing, including crimes.

Paul Butler, a law professor at Georgetown University Law Center, said the blue wall means "that sometimes police officers close rank and — right or wrong — they're blue."

Many times when police officers are charged with killing someone, it is because they shot that person, said Butler, who is also a contributing columnist for The Washington Post and an MSNBC legal analyst.

"The act of shooting someone requires a split-second decision," he said.

In those instances, police officers might be reluctant to testify against a colleague in part because they resent being second-guessed by people who don't know the dangers of their profession, Butler said in an interview Wednesday.

Police chief: Fired cop broke policy in pinning Floyd

  Police chief: Fired cop broke policy in pinning Floyd MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis police chief who called George Floyd's death “murder” soon after it happened testified that Officer Derek Chauvin had clearly violated department policy when he pinned Floyd's neck beneath his knee for more than 9 minutes. Continuing to kneel on Floyd's neck once he was handcuffed behind his back and lying on his stomach was “in no way, shape or form” part of department policy or training, "and it is certainlyContinuing to kneel on Floyd's neck once he was handcuffed behind his back and lying on his stomach was “in no way, shape or form” part of department policy or training, "and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values,” Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Monday on D

A jury of 14 people has been selected in Derek Chauvin ' s trial in the death of George Floyd, and while the jurors are unnamed and unseen on camera, we do know basic details about them.

The trial of Derek Chauvin is taking its lunch break. The former Minneapolis police officer is charged with murder and manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd last May. He denies the charges. Thao stood close to Chauvin and George Floyd’ s head and warned off bystanders who were filming the officers, criticizing them and begging them, variously, to stop holding Floyd down and to allow members of the public to help him. Keung, Land and Thao were all fired the day after Floyd was killed, as was Chauvin .

Chauvin's restraint of Floyd, however, was measured, Butler said.

"He had 9 minutes and 29 seconds to consider his actions," he said.

The international protests against racism and police brutality spurred by Floyd's death also may be a reason why the blue wall of silence has crumbled in this case, Butler said.

"I think the officers who are testifying want to model what good cops look like, both for the jury and the public in contrast to Chauvin," he said. "I've been impressed by how many officers are willing to go on the record about how Chauvin violated both police procedures and criminal law."

On Friday, Zimmerman made a series of damning statements about Chauvin's actions last May.

"Pulling him down to the ground facedown and putting your knee on a neck for that amount of time, it's just uncalled for," said Zimmerman, who joined the department in 1985 and leads its homicide unit.

Zimmerman responded to the scene after Floyd was taken away in an ambulance. He testified that what Chauvin had done was "totally unnecessary." He said he saw "no reason for why the officers felt they were in danger — if that's what they felt — and that's what they would have to feel to be able to use that kind of force."

EXPLAINER: Why is 'excited delirium' cited at Chauvin trial?

  EXPLAINER: Why is 'excited delirium' cited at Chauvin trial? MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The attorney for the former Minneapolis police officer on trial in George Floyd ’s death revisited the disputed concept of excited delirium Tuesday in an effort to show that the force Derek Chauvin used was objectively reasonable given Floyd's resistance. Chauvin, 45, who is white, is charged with murder and manslaughter. Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was arrested outside a neighborhood market on May 25, accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. A panicky-sounding Floyd struggled and claimed to be claustrophobic as police tried to put him in a squad car.

His testimony was compelling, Butler said, because police witnesses are often reluctant to draw conclusions like that because they either don't want to be part of getting an officer convicted or they want the jury to make the determination about whether the force was excessive.

That hasn't been the case for some of Chauvin's former colleagues.

Arradondo, the city's first Black police chief, also testified in the trial of Mohamed Noor, a former police officer who was accused of murder in the fatal shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, who had called the police to report hearing what she thought was a sexual assault of a woman in an alley behind her home. Noor was convicted of third-degree murder.

DeLacy Davis, who retired as a sergeant with the East Orange Police Department in New Jersey in 2006, said it is rare for a police chief to testify against an officer in a criminal case.

Davis, a use-of-force and community policing expert, said he believes there are three reasons why Arradondo testified against Chauvin, the first being that Chauvin's actions were "egregious."

Davis said that was evidenced by how quickly Arradondo fired the four officers involved in Floyd's arrest. They were fired May 26 — a day after Floyd's death. Typically, Davis said, police chiefs will wait weeks or months to discipline officers for alleged misconduct — if they do at all — and in most cases, it is only after facing public pressure.

EXPLAINER: Prosecution explores Floyd's 'spark of life'

  EXPLAINER: Prosecution explores Floyd's 'spark of life' MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors trying a white former Minneapolis police officer in George Floyd’s death put one of Floyd’s brothers on the witness stand Monday in a further effort to humanize him for the jury and counter the defense narrative that Floyd was at least partially responsible for his own death due to his use of illegal drugs. Philonise Floyd, who has frequently occupied the Floyd family's sole seat in the socially distanced courtroom, was allowed to testify under a legal doctrine called “spark of life.

The second reason why he believes Arradondo testified was to bolster morale within the police department.

"To also support the men and women who are still working in Minneapolis but have to somehow pick up their morale and re-center their practice as professional law enforcement officers, he needed to send a very clear message," Davis said. "And I think he did that."

Davis said Arradondo did not "condemn all of policing; he condemned the actions of the four involved officers." Davis quoted a statement Arradondo issued in June in which he said Floyd's death was a "murder" that one of the responding officers had caused and the three "others failed to prevent."

Davis, who is Black, believes race also influenced Arradondo's decision to testify.

"Being a police chief of color, he has clearly demonstrated either the unwillingness or the inability to detach his melanin from the reality of what Black and brown people experience at the hands of law enforcement in this country," Davis said. "Because my experience has been, even with Black officers, they'll toe the company line."

Davis believes the Minneapolis police officers who condemned Chauvin's actions in their testimony did so because his actions were "indefensible."

"They could not defend it without shaming their entire agency," he said.

Floyd, who was Black, had been accused of using a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes at a convenience store. He was recorded on widely seen bystander video handcuffed, facedown on the pavement telling the officers he couldn't breathe.

Prosecution case nears end in ex-cop's trial in Floyd death

  Prosecution case nears end in ex-cop's trial in Floyd death MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd 's death enters its third week Monday, with the state nearing the end of a case built on searing witness accounts, official rejections of the neck restraint and expert testimony attributing Floyd's death to a lack of oxygen. Derek Chauvin, 45, who is white, is charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s May 25 death. Police were called to a neighborhood market where Floyd, who was Black, was accused of trying to pass a counterfeit bill.

Inspector Katie Blackwell, who took the stand Monday, said she has known Chauvin for about 20 years and that he had received annual training in defensive tactics and use of force. She said he would have been trained to use one or two arms — not his knee — in a neck restraint.

After the prosecution showed her a photo of Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck, she said, "I don't know what kind of improvised position that is."

Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, has argued that Floyd's use of illegal drugs and his underlying health conditions caused his death, not Chauvin's kneeling on him, as prosecutors have said.

The county medical examiner's office classified Floyd's death a homicide — a death caused by someone else. The report said Floyd died of "cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression." Under "other significant conditions" it said Floyd suffered from hypertensive heart disease and listed fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use. Those factors were not listed under cause of death.

Davis said he does believe Floyd's death was the result of a split-second decision.

"I believe Derek Chauvin made a split-second decision that George Floyd was not worthy of any of the basic humanity that he was pleading for," he said. "I hope this is a tipping point in law enforcement that we are now seeing officers of many races speaking up and speaking out."

Key takeaways from Day 8 of the Derek Chauvin trial .
Key takeaways from Day 8 of the Derek Chauvin trial in George Floyd's death Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jody Stiger -- a veteran use-of-force trainer, who is testifying as a paid expert witness for the prosecution -- said his review of video evidence in Floyd's arrested indicated that Chauvin was also using a "pain compliance technique" on Floyd's handcuffed left hand.

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This is interesting!