Virginia school system eyes post that mocked George Floyd

Ruben Fields
April 6, 2021

Chauvin also did not "de-escalate" the situation even as Floyd fell unconscious, and he did not provide the mandated first aid to a dying Floyd, Arradondo said.

"It's recognizing that when we get the call from our communities, it may not often be their best day, and they may be experiencing something that's very traumatic", the chief said.

"When 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".

Others who testified last week included the teenager that recorded the now-infamous bystander video that showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes.

She said that Mr Chauvin, who had been a police officer for 19 years, would have been trained to use one or two arms - not his knee - in a neck restraint. Medical tests led Langenfeld to think it was unlikely that Floyd suffered a heart attack, he told the jury.

Arradondo later described Floyd's death last May as "murder".

Floyd was declared dead at 9:25 p.m., about 30 minutes after he arrived at the hospital and less than 90 minutes after police arrived outside the Cup Foods grocery store to arrest Floyd on suspicion of his using a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes.

Mr Chauvin's defence team claims the officer did what he was trained to do, and that Mr Floyd's drug consumption and his underlying health conditions caused his death.

Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson, in a pretrial filing, said Chauvin followed policy and "did exactly as he was trained to do". An autopsy found fentanyl and methamphetamine in Floyd's system.

But the county medical examiner's office ultimately classified Mr 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". A summary report listed fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use under "other significant conditions" but not under "cause of death".

He said a lack of oxygen was the most likely reason Floyd's heart had stopped beating. But on questioning from the prosecutor, the doctor said the high levels were also consistent with cardiac arrest. The doctor said giving Narcan once a patient is in cardiac arrest would provide no benefit.

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"The first witness, that 911 dispatcher which had that bombshell testimony, when she said I don't want to be a snitch, but what I'm seeing is not right", said George Floyd's Family Attorney Benjamin Crump.

Floyd's girlfriend Courtney Ross admitted that she and Floyd struggled with opioid addiction and that, in the weeks before his death, she had grown concerned that his usage was spiralling. He said there is an approximately 10% to 15% decrease in survival for every minute that CPR is not administered.

Prosecutor Steve Schleicher noted that while some people may become more unsafe under the influence of drugs or alcohol, some may actually be "more vulnerable".

Mr Arradondo agreed and acknowledged that this must also be taken into consideration when officers decide to use force.

Across a pacey week the jury heard from eye-witnesses, among them the MMA fighter who called Chauvin out for using a lethal "blood choke, ' the off-duty fire fighter, bitter and angry that she had not been allowed to intervene and 61-year-old Charles McMillian who had tried to talk Floyd into the squad auto, to 'make it go easy" for him.

"We were taught about positional asphyxia all the way back to my academy", Blackwell said, adding that her time with the department overlaps with the length of time Chauvin has also been there.

But prosecutors quickly got Arradondo to note that the clip played by Nelson depicted only the few seconds before Floyd was moved onto a stretcher.

Officers kept restraining Floyd until paramedics arrived Mr Floyd's death has continued to inform debates about anti-black racism.

Blackwell, who headed the police training unit, was shown a picture of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck and asked if that was an approved neck restraint.

"It is my firm belief that the one singular incident we will be judged forever on will be our use of force".

Genevieve Hansen, an off-duty firefighter who was out for a walk in the area that evening, testified that for months she has been haunted by feelings that she had waited too long to call 911 and not pressed harder to help Floyd herself. A duty sergeant and a lieutenant who leads the homicide division both questioned Chauvin's actions in pinning Floyd to the ground.

"Totally unnecessary", Lt. Richard Zimmerman, the longest-tenured officer on the force, testified Friday.

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