Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo took to the stand to testify in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer accused of murdering unarmed Black man George Floyd.
Arradondo said he has had to use force and de-escalate tensions throughout his three decades on the force. He says that police traning has vastly improved since he was a cadet in the police academy.
“We are oftentimes the first face of government that our communities will see, and we will oftentimes meet them at their worst moments,” Arradondo said on Monday in court. “It’s very important that we meet our community in that space, treating them with dignity.”
The police chief added, “When we get a call from the communities. It might not always be their best day. And we have to take that into consideration. We should try to meet them where they are.”
Arrandondo fired Chauvin and the three other officers on the day last May when he arrested George Floyd on suspicion of using a fake $20 bill, calling their actions “murder.”
“Mr. George Floyd’s tragic death was not due to a lack of training — the training was there. Chauvin knew what he was doing,” Arradondo said last June.
Prosecutor Steve Schleicher, Arradondo was 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.”
Earlier Monday morning, Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld, the doctor who provided emergency care to Floyd at Hennepin County Medical Center, testified. He said that based on the information he had, he believed Floyd died from a lack of oxygen rather than an overdose or heart attack.
Although Chauvin’s attorney’s insisting that he died of a heart attack, Langenfeld testified that he saw no evidence of that. “There was no report that the patient complained of chest pain or was clutching his chest,” he said.