STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Minneapolis police chief calls George Floyd's death 'murder'

Medaria Arradondo, City of Minneapolis, Minnesota Police Department Chief. (AP)
Medaria Arradondo, City of Minneapolis, Minnesota Police Department Chief. (AP)

'This was murder — it wasn’t a lack of training.'

Posted: Jun 23, 2020 4:44 PM
Updated: Jun 23, 2020 4:49 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minneapolis' police chief says the death of George Floyd was “murder” and that the officer who pressed his knee into Floyd's neck knew what he was doing because he had taken specific training on the dangers of positional asphyxiation.

It appears to be the first time Chief Medaria Arradondo has used the word “murder” to describe the death. Floyd, a Black handcuffed man, died May 25 after Derek Chauvin, a white officer, pressed his knee into his neck for nearly 8 minutes and held it there even after Floyd said he couldn’t breathe and stopped moving.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other officers — J. Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane — are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter.

All four officers were fired.

In response to questions and a data request from the Star Tribune, Arradondo issued a statement Monday night saying: "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 went on to say: “The officers knew what was happening — one intentionally caused it and the others failed to prevent it. This was murder — it wasn’t a lack of training."

Attorneys for Chauvin, Thao and Kueng had no comment. A message left for Lane's attorney wasn't immediately returned to The Associated Press.

Arradondo said in his statement, first reported by the Star Tribune and also provided to the AP, that both Chauvin and Thao took training on the dangers of positional asphyxiation in 2014. The training, which covered how to get an arrestee from a prone position into a recovery or seated position, was required after a 2013 settlement with the family of David Cornelius Smith, a handcuffed Black man who died in 2010 after police pinned him face down.

Arradondo said the department also changed its policy in June 2014 to explicitly require moving an arrestee from a prone position to a recovery position when the highest degree of restraint is used, and to require continuous monitoring of the person's condition.

He also said trainees continue to discuss the risks of in-custody deaths, and there's “simply no way that any competent officer" would be unaware of the need to move an arrestee so he or she can breathe freely.

Separately, leaders of the Minneapolis police union acknowledged Tuesday that bystander video of the police encounter with Floyd was “horrific” but said they've been denied the chance to look at body camera video that could shed more light on what happened.

The union's president, Lt. Bob Kroll, issued a statement soon after Floyd died cautioning the public not to rush to judgment and saying the union would provide its “full support” to the officers. On Tuesday, he told “CBS This Morning” that he thinks union members are being scapegoated for incompetent department leadership.

Kroll acknowledged that widely seen cellphone video of Floyd’s death is “horrific,” but that the union was left “blindsided” by being denied the right to review officer body camera video.

“Right now we cannot make an informed decision regarding the other officers that do not appear on camera,” he said.

Union director Rich Walker said “any human being” that watches the bystander video knows that Floyd’s arrest “should not have ended the way it did.” But Walker questioned statements that Floyd didn’t resist officers because the union hasn’t seen footage of the minutes leading up to what the bystander video showed.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 96734

Reported Deaths: 2060
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin27177931
Ramsey10985320
Dakota7585126
Anoka6182135
Stearns404524
Washington384155
Scott260333
Olmsted247328
Nobles197516
Blue Earth17146
Wright16647
St. Louis161841
Carver14297
Clay141140
Rice13438
Mower13365
Sherburne116114
Kandiyohi10262
Winona90618
Lyon7134
Waseca6898
Benton5583
Steele5532
Freeborn5444
Nicollet54217
Crow Wing53318
Watonwan5304
Chisago5071
Todd5022
McLeod4942
Le Sueur4724
Otter Tail4454
Beltrami4405
Martin42610
Goodhue3769
Itasca33914
Pine3360
Douglas3262
Polk3164
Isanti3071
Becker2802
Carlton2711
Morrison2642
Dodge2480
Pipestone23010
Cottonwood2270
Chippewa2191
Meeker2072
Wabasha2010
Brown1952
Sibley1953
Yellow Medicine1872
Cass1824
Unassigned18052
Rock1760
Murray1702
Redwood1703
Mille Lacs1653
Renville1568
Jackson1501
Faribault1460
Swift1421
Houston1270
Kanabec1268
Roseau1240
Fillmore1230
Koochiching1233
Pennington1201
Lincoln1150
Hubbard1111
Stevens1051
Pope980
Big Stone830
Aitkin811
Wadena690
Wilkin663
Grant624
Lac qui Parle601
Lake590
Marshall531
Norman530
Mahnomen481
Red Lake451
Traverse310
Clearwater280
Lake of the Woods231
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 86239

Reported Deaths: 1307
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15962262
Woodbury550964
Johnson514727
Black Hawk450090
Linn4078112
Story345317
Dubuque328341
Scott302028
Dallas279838
Pottawattamie214139
Buena Vista199212
Marshall179034
Sioux16463
Wapello133457
Webster127214
Plymouth115521
Clinton112421
Muscatine111155
Crawford10915
Cerro Gordo105821
Warren9656
Jasper84532
Des Moines7978
Marion7637
Henry7464
Tama73231
Carroll6745
Lee6397
Wright5921
Dickinson5286
Boone5118
Bremer4957
Washington46611
Louisa42915
Delaware4103
Mahaska41019
Floyd3523
Franklin35018
Jackson3503
Winneshiek3396
Lyon3324
Clay3284
Hamilton3273
Benton3241
Winnebago31513
Hardin3041
Poweshiek3048
Buchanan2851
Jones2763
Kossuth2740
Butler2712
Shelby2671
Clarke2663
Emmet26510
Allamakee2646
Clayton2613
Chickasaw2570
Sac2570
Cherokee2512
Cedar2501
Guthrie2456
Harrison2413
Fayette2272
Grundy2233
Madison2232
Iowa2131
Palo Alto2030
Mitchell1910
Howard1906
Humboldt1903
Hancock1882
Calhoun1853
Mills1811
Page1700
Cass1692
Osceola1680
Pocahontas1632
Monroe15911
Monona1571
Lucas1566
Appanoose1393
Jefferson1391
Union1373
Taylor1311
Davis1274
Fremont1220
Ida1221
Van Buren1141
Keokuk1091
Worth1080
Greene1010
Montgomery975
Wayne872
Audubon821
Adair721
Decatur670
Ringgold522
Adams330
Unassigned230
Rochester
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 44°
Mason City
Scattered Clouds
45° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 41°
Albert Lea
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 46°
Austin
Scattered Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 42°
Charles City
Few Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 43°
Much Cooler Week Ahead
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events