Police accused of cheating can usually rely on the blue wall of silence — protection from fellow police officers, including everything from shutting off body cameras to refusing to work with investigators. But that doesn’t apply to Derek Chauvin. Colleague immediately blames his actions With the death of George Floyd, some even opposed him.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medallia Aradondo testified Chauvin, who knelt on the neck of handcuffed Floyd, was “never shaped or shaped” in line with departmental policy and training. Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman, a murder investigator, testified that “if your knees hang on a person’s neck, you can kill them.”
Former Chauvin coach, retired sergeant. David Proger testified that the force used on Floyd was so long that it should have ended when the black man was handcuffed and stopped resisting. An inspector and defendant familiar with Chauvin for 20 years said he spent the day as her trainee took the position of a witness.
The criticism did not begin with a trial. Last year, 14 police officers, including Zimmerman, signed an open letter, Chauvin said, “I failed as a human and robbed George Floyd of dignity and life. This is not who we are.”
It is unclear whether officers are willing to call on colleagues or whether the unusual situation in this particular case is at work. Police agencies across the country have begun reforms to promote more ethical behavior, but some experts say Chauvin’s non-flashing video of a dying man kneeling on Floyd’s neck in search of air. But he says it is the impetus for fellow police officers to confront Chauvin.
Bill Hall, a former Justice Department intermediary at Webster University in Missouri and an adjunct professor of political science, said, “I really hope to see the fall of the blue wall, but unfortunately it does. No, “he said.
The police’s abominable testimony to Chauvin, and the criticism of the public, comes from the head of the department, not the police. All 14 signatories of the June letter were ranked as Sergeant or above. Mr Hall said supervisory police officers have an incentive to show that police officers are faulty, not their policies or procedures.
Still, in June, Lieutenant Bob Kroll, head of the Minneapolis Police Union, was an advocate of usually combative police officers, agreeing that Chauvin’s firing was justified, and ” It ’s scary. ” Meanwhile, three other police officers, charged with Floyd’s death, fired shortly thereafter, and faced their own trial in August, are likely to blame Chauvin, who is much more senior, for what happened.
Rick Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri at Cent, said the number of colleagues who turned him on in Chauvin’s Minneapolis has been revealed. Louis.
“We usually don’t see more than a dozen police officers coming out of the exact same agency, in opposition to the actions taken by police officers,” Rosenfeld said.
It is far from the norm of silence that has long surrounded police atrocities and murders in numerous places, including Minneapolis.
2017, officer Mohammed Noor She shot and killed Justin Lucitik Damond as she approached a Noor police car in the alley behind her house. Court testimony showed that the commander of the case turned off her body camera while talking to Noor shortly after the shooting. The other police officer told him not to say anything.
Noor was one of the rare officers convicted anyway. He has been sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison.
In another Minnesota case, a former St. Anthony officer Jeronimo Janez He was acquitted of the July 2016 killing of Philland Castile. Fellow officers were in court throughout the trial in favor of Janez.
Chauvin is still legally supported by the Minnesota Police Department and the Association of Police Officers. Brian Peters, the secretary-general of the association, said he was obliged to do so because the association’s statutory defense fund was paying for his defense and he had paid a membership fee to a local union for his representation. Stated.
Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, is one of MPPOA’s 12 lawyers and handles cases involving police officers in turn.
Some new programs aim to tackle the blue wall head-on.
In 2015, New Orleans police implemented a program called “Ethical Policing is Courageous” or EPIC. Training emphasizes the intervention of peers when police officers are doing something wrong, such as assaulting or planting evidence. The idea is that if one bystander officer intervenes, the other will obey and stop the bad behavior of peer pressure.
New Orleans detective Paul Noel said Floyd’s death could have been prevented if the Minneapolis police had a program like EPIC.
“It would have taken a single officer to say,’Hey, get off him,'” Noel said.
However, John Kleinig, an emeritus professor of criminology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at City University of New York, believes that in most cases police officers continue to devote themselves to protecting their whimsical colleagues. I will.
“For police, it’s not a simple matter of cover-up,” Kleinig said. “The Blue Wall of Silence has a moral impetus. In other words,” we have loyalty to each other. “
Find the Associated Press’s full coverage of George Floyd’s death: https: //apnews.com/hub/death-of-george-floyd