Derek Chauvin’s trial for the death of George Floyd is set to continue Monday with more witness testimony, and the Minneapolis Police Department’s top brass is expected to take the stand and speak out against Chauvin’s actions.
Axios reports that MPD chief Medaria Arradondo is likely to testify during Monday’s proceedings, which are set to begin at 10:15 a.m. ET. If prosecutor Jerry Blackwell’s opening statements are any indication, the top cop will not “mince any words” when it comes to characterizing Chauvin’s treatment of Floyd.
Arradondo’s testimony could prove to be pivotal in the case, especially if he echoes the statement he made last June that what happened to Floyd was “murder.” At the time, Arradondo also said plainly that Chauvin’s fatal restraint of the 46-year-old Floyd was not due to a lack of training, and added that this led to his decision to fire Chauvin as well as three other officers who watched the incident and failed to intervene.
Chauvin is facing charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. The first week of the trial featured the tearful testimony of eyewitnesses who appeared to still be traumatized from the ex-cop’s refusal to respond to their pleas for Floyd’s life as he knelt on the man’s neck for nearly 10 minutes, as well as the expert testimony of a firefighter, EMTs and other police officers that Chauvin’s actions resulted in the man’s death.
While a conviction of Chauvin is by no means guaranteed, the case being built against the ex-cop should be compelling—even if jury members weren’t already convinced by the harrowing video footage of his fatal treatment of Floyd.
From the Guardian:
Arradondo’s testimony is likely to be a powerful weapon in the prosecution’s case as the defense will attempt to argue that Derek Chauvin’s protracted use of a knee-to-neck restraint was in line with use of force guidance.
“It’s a pretty remarkable move on the part of the prosecution,” said Dr Cedric Alexander, the former police chief and public safety director of DeKalb county, Georgia.
He added: “It’s very rare that you’re going to see a chief either appear for the defense or the prosecution. But each one of these kinds of events brings its own set of circumstances. And in this particular case, where you have a knee to the neck and it’s being questioned ‘was that trained technique?’ To be able to have the chief of police… to under oath testify is clearly going to be of importance.”