Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo took the stand Monday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the fired police officer charged in George Floyd’s death.
Under questioning by prosecutor Steve Schleicher, Arradondo emphasized that the department values treating others with dignity and respect. When asked to explain the department’s goal of “serving with compassion,” Arradondo said: “It means to understand and authentically accept that we see our neighbors as ourselves.”
“We value one another,” he said. “We see our community as necessary for our existence.”
Arradondo was also asked to described the department’s approach to de-escalation, which he said is about “time, options and resources so we can stabilize a situation safely and peacefully.” He read from the department’s de-escalation policy, which requires officers to seek to minimize the use of physical force.
Arradondo had not yet been asked about Chauvin’s actions before court recessed for a lunch break, but he is expected to testify that Chauvin’s use of force against Floyd was excessive.
In opening statements last week, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell said Arradondo will “not mince any words.”
“He’s very clear, he’ll be very decisive that this was excessive force,” Blackwell said.
Testimony resumed for a second week Monday morning with testimony from an emergency doctor who tried to save Floyd’s life.
Two other members of the department took the stand last week and criticized Chauvin’s use of force. Chauvin’s supervising sergeant said force should have ended as soon as Floyd stopped resisting, and the high-ranking lieutenant who heads the homicide unit called Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck “totally unnecessary” and “just uncalled for.”
Chauvin, who was seen in disturbing videos kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, is charged with second-degree murder,and second-degree manslaughter. He has pleaded not guilty.