By Sean Yoes
AFRO Senior Reporter
After an extraordinarily emotional first week, the second week of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the disgraced former Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officer accused of murdering George Floyd began April 5.
On day six of the trial, Chauvin’s defense team attempted to obscure the reality that has seemed apparent to many since last Memorial Day, that their client caused Floyd’s death. Defense attorney Eric Nelson introduced a few different possible theories primarily focused on Floyd’s drug use that the defense wants jurors to believe could have contributed to Floyd’s death. However, the fact that Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes triggering a cardiac arrest according to the prosecution was the real cause of his death, and seemed to be bolstered by the man that attempted to bring him back to life.
“Any time a patient spends in cardiac arrest without CPR markedly decreases the chances of a good outcome,” said Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld, the man who provided emergency care to Floyd at Hennepin County Medical Center on May 25. Special Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell asked Langenfeld what caused Floyd’s cardiac arrest. “At the time, based on the history available to me, I felt that hypoxia was one of the most likely possibilities,” Langenfeld added, specifically identifying hypoxia, a lack of oxygen that led to Floyd’s death from asphyxia.
After Langenfeld’s testimony, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo took the stand.
State’s Attorney Steve Schleicher methodically questioned Arradondo, the first Black police chief in Minneapolis history, about his career as a law enforcement officer, his ascension through the MPD, many of his department’s policies and procedures and then the killing of Floyd.
“That action is not de-escalation…That action goes contrary to what we’re taught. That is not what we teach and it should not be condoned,” Arradondo said.
“Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting, and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped,” he added.
Arradondo, who has been a member of the MPD for more than 30 years, has been police chief since 2017. He testified about how he first heard about the bystander video of the killing of George Floyd via a text message from a community member.
“Chief, have you seen the video of your officer choking and killing that man?” the message read according to Arradondo. Subsequently, while on the witness stand he was shown an image of Floyd with Chauvin’s knee on his neck.
“When I look at exhibit 17….when I look at the facial expression of Mr. Floyd that is in no way light to moderate pressure,” Arradondo said
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The trial is expected to last possibly through the month of April.