The “blue wall of silence” is collapsing in the trial of Derek Chauvin. Why this case is a turning point.


During his long testimony on Monday, Minneapolis police did not say anything about condemning Derek Chauvin’s actions, A former police officer charged with murder at the death of George Floyd.

“Continuing to apply that level of force to a person handcuffed behind the back is by no means a policy in shape or shape,” said Chief Medallia Aradondo. “It’s not part of our training, and certainly not part of our ethics and values.”

Aradondo’s testimony was natural. In the opening statement, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told the jury that he used “excessive force” when Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds last May. He said he wouldn’t refrain.

Still, Aradondo’s testimony was rare.That he joined A series of law enforcement officers Notable.

Among those who joined Aradondo at the stand as prosecution witnesses was Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman. The longest-serving police officer at the Minneapolis Police Station, And Inspector Katie Blackwell, who was the commander of the training department at the time of Floyd’s death.

Former Chauvin director, Sgt. David Pleoger also warned of his actions. Preoger testified Thursday, among other things, that Floyd “may have ended their detention when they were no longer providing resistance to police officers.” Chauvin initially did not reveal that he knelt on Floyd’s neck..

According to legal experts, Aradondo, Zimmerman, Preoger, and Blackwell did not protect Chauvin behind the so-called Blue Wall of Silence for a variety of reasons. The term “Blue Wall of Silence” is used to describe an informal oath between police officers not to report the wrongdoing of a colleague, including a crime.

Paul Butler, a law professor at Georgetown University Law Center, said the blue wall “means police officers close their ranks and they are blue, right or wrong.”

Police officers are often charged with murdering someone because they shot him, said Butler, a Washington Post contributor columnist and MSNBC legal analyst.

“The act of shooting someone requires a momentary decision,” he said.

Butler hesitates to testify to his colleagues in an interview Wednesday, as police officers are resentful of being guessed again by people who are unaware of the dangers of their profession. Said it might be.

However, Chauvin’s Floyd’s restraint was measured, Butler said.

“It took him 9 minutes and 29 seconds to consider his actions,” he said.

International protests against racism and police atrocities caused by Floyd’s death may also be the reason for the collapse of the Blue Wall of Silence, according to Butler.

“I think the cop witnessing wants to model what a good cop looks like to both the jury and the general public, as opposed to Chauvin,” he said. “I was impressed with how many police officers were on record about how Chauvin violated both police procedures and criminal law.”

On Friday, Zimmerman issued a series of abominable statements about Chauvin’s actions last May.

“There is no need to lay him down on the ground and hang his knees around his neck during that time,” said Zimmerman, who joined the department in 1985 and heads the murder unit.

Zimmerman responded to the scene after Floyd was taken away by an ambulance. He testified that what Chauvin did was “totally unnecessary.” He said, “There is no reason police officers felt they were in danger-if it was what they felt-and they felt because it could use that kind of power. It has to be done. “

According to Butler, his testimony was compelling. Police witnesses often hesitate to draw such conclusions because they do not want to be part of a police officer’s conviction or want a jury to determine if they are overpowered.

Some of Chauvin’s ex-colleagues weren’t.

Aradondo, the city’s first black police chief, Mohammed Noor Trial, A former police officer charged with murder in a deadly shooting by Justin Rustik Damond. She called the police after hearing that she thought she was sexually assaulting a woman in the back alley of her house. Noor was convicted of a third-class murder.

Delacy Davis, who retired as a sergeant at the East Orange Police Station in New Jersey in 2006, said police chiefs rarely testify to police officers in criminal cases.

Davis, an expert in the use of force and local police, said he believes there are three reasons why Aradondo testified to Chauvin. The first reason was that Chauvin’s behavior was “terrible.”

Davis, it’s how fast Aradondo Dismissed four policemen involved in Floyd’s arrest.. They were fired on May 26, the day after Floyd’s death. Police chiefs usually have to wait weeks or months to discipline police officers on suspicion of illegal activity, according to Davis.

The second reason he believed that Aradondo testified was to boost morale within the police station.

“He is very clear to support men and women who are still working in Minneapolis but somehow have to boost their morale and refocus their practices as professional law enforcement officers. I had to send a message, “Davis said. “And I think he did it.”

Davis said Aradondo “not blamed all police, but blamed the actions of the four policemen involved.” Davis quoted Aradondo’s statement in June, stating that Floyd’s death was a “murder” caused by one of the corresponding police officers, and that “the other could not prevent it.”

Davis, a black man, believes that race also influenced Aradondo’s decision to testify.

“He, the police chief, has made it clear that he doesn’t want or can’t separate melanin from the reality experienced by black and brown people in the hands of law enforcement agencies in the country,” Davis said. .. “My experience was that even black police officers would set foot on the company line.”

Davis believes that Minneapolis police officers, who accused Chauvin of his actions in testimony, did so because his actions were “out of defense.”

“They couldn’t protect it without being ashamed of their entire institution,” he said.

Floyd, a black man, was accused of using a fake $ 20 bill to buy cigarettes at a convenience store.He was Recorded in a handcuffed and widely seen bystander video, The back of the pavement telling the police that he couldn’t breathe.

Inspector Katie Blackwell, who ran for Monday, said she had known Chauvin for about 20 years and was trained annually in defense tactics and the use of force. She said she was trained to use one or two arms instead of the knees to restrain her neck.

After the prosecution showed her A photo of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck“I don’t know what improvisational position it is,” she said.

Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, claimed that, as the prosecutor said, the use of Floyd’s illicit drugs and his underlying health did not kneel on him, but caused his death.

County Inspector General’s Office Classify Floyd’s death as murder — Death caused by someone else. According to the report, Floyd died because of “complexing cardiopulmonary arrest, double law enforcement, detention, and neck compression.” Under “other important conditions,” Floyd said he was suffering from hypertensive heart disease, citing fentanyl poisoning and recent use of methamphetamine. Those factors were not listed under Cause of Death.

Davis said he believed that Floyd’s death was the result of a momentary decision.

“I believe Derek Chauvin made a momentary decision that George Floyd wasn’t fit for any of the basic humanities he claimed,” he said. “I hope this is a turning point in law enforcement and we have seen many racial officers speak and speak.”

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