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Minneapolis police chief says George Floyd’s death was ‘MURDER’

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo has called George Floyd’s death at the hands of Officer Derek Chauvin on Memorial Day ‘murder’, insisting the killing didn’t result because of a lack of training.

In his most damning declaration about Floyd’s killing yet, Arradondo issued a statement Monday night, insisting ‘Chauvin knew what he was doing’ when he fatally knelt down on the 46-year-old’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.

‘Mr. George Floyd’s tragic death was not due to a lack of training — the training was there,’ Arradondo wrote. ‘Chauvin had his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck for over seven minutes, and for those last minutes he knew that Floyd was non-responsive.

‘This was murder — it wasn’t a lack of training. This is why I took swift action regarding the involved officers’ employment with MPD,’ he continued.

Chauvin and Tou Thao – another officer involved in the fatal arrest – both had previously taken department training to prevent suffocation in people being restrained face down years earlier, the police chief said. 

In his most damning declaration about Floyd’s killing yet, Arradondo issued a statement Monday night, insisting ‘Chauvin knew what he was doing’ when he fatally knelt down on the 46-year-old’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds

In his most damning declaration about Floyd’s killing yet, Arradondo issued a statement Monday night, insisting ‘Chauvin knew what he was doing’ when he fatally knelt down on the 46-year-old’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds

In his most damning declaration about Floyd’s killing yet, Arradondo issued a statement Monday night, insisting ‘Chauvin knew what he was doing’ when he fatally knelt down on the 46-year-old’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds

‘Mr. George Floyd’s tragic death was not due to a lack of training — the training was there,’ Arradondo wrote. ‘Chauvin had his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck for over seven minutes, and for those last minutes he knew that Floyd was non-responsive'

‘Mr. George Floyd’s tragic death was not due to a lack of training — the training was there,’ Arradondo wrote. ‘Chauvin had his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck for over seven minutes, and for those last minutes he knew that Floyd was non-responsive'

‘Mr. George Floyd’s tragic death was not due to a lack of training — the training was there,’ Arradondo wrote. ‘Chauvin had his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck for over seven minutes, and for those last minutes he knew that Floyd was non-responsive’ 

While State Governor Tim Waltz and a number of other public officials in Minneapolis have previously proclaimed Floyd’s death to be a murder, this is the first time Arradondo has staked such a claim.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington called Floyd’s death ‘murder’ on May 29, just hours before Chauvin was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter, the Star Tribune reported.

The police chief’s statement was released in response to a public records request for department training records after questions were asked as to whether the Minneapolis PD upheld a promise to require all officers to undergo training on the dangers of positional asphyxia, following a 2013 settlement.

Arradondo claimed that the MPD ‘went beyond the requirements’ of the settlement – not only providing training but overhauling its policies altogether the following year.

‘The policy changes explicitly require moving an arrestee from a prone position to a recovery position when the maximal restraint technique is used and require continuous monitoring of an arrestee’s condition,’ Arradondo wrote.

‘It is important to note that getting an arrestee into a position where he or she can breathe is something that is hammered into all of our officers,’ Arradondo added. ‘And this began even before the Smith settlement’s required 2014 training.’

He continued by saying there is ‘simply no way that any competent officer in MPD would be unaware of the need to get an arrestee into a recovery position so that he or she can breathe freely.’

Arradondo then broke down Chauvin’s systematic failures to uphold the rudimentary policy.

‘Mr Floyd shouted out that he couldn’t breathe; bystanders shouted out that Mr. Floyd had stopped talking; then they pointed out he had become non-responsive; and finally they shouted out that Mr. Floyd was dying,’ the police chief wrote.

‘Further, one of the officers on the scene told Chauvin that Mr. Floyd should be put into a recovery position and he eventually told Chauvin he could not find Mr. Floyd’s pulse,’ he continued. ‘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.’

Derek Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, has not yet returned a DailyMail.com request for comment on Arradondo’s remarks.

Chauvin and Tou Thao – another officer involved in the fatal arrest - both had previously taken department training to prevent suffocation in people being restrained face down years earlier, the police chief said.

Chauvin and Tou Thao – another officer involved in the fatal arrest - both had previously taken department training to prevent suffocation in people being restrained face down years earlier, the police chief said.

Tou Thao

Tou Thao

Chauvin (left) and Tou Thao (right) – another officer involved in the fatal arrest – both had previously taken department training to prevent suffocation in people being restrained face down years earlier, the police chief said.

While State Governor Tim Waltz and a number of other public officials in Minneapolis have previously proclaimed Floyd’s death to be a murder, this is the first time Arradondo has staked such a claim

While State Governor Tim Waltz and a number of other public officials in Minneapolis have previously proclaimed Floyd’s death to be a murder, this is the first time Arradondo has staked such a claim

While State Governor Tim Waltz and a number of other public officials in Minneapolis have previously proclaimed Floyd’s death to be a murder, this is the first time Arradondo has staked such a claim

Floyd was arrested on May 25 after he was accused of attempting to pay for groceries with a counterfeit $20 bill

Floyd was arrested on May 25 after he was accused of attempting to pay for groceries with a counterfeit $20 bill

Floyd was arrested on May 25 after he was accused of attempting to pay for groceries with a counterfeit $20 bill

Rookie officers J. Alexander Keung (left) and Thomas Lane (right) were also involved in the arrest. Lane had asked Chauvin if he should roll Floyd onto his side to help him breathe better. Chauvin replied 'No. Staying put where we got him'

Rookie officers J. Alexander Keung (left) and Thomas Lane (right) were also involved in the arrest. Lane had asked Chauvin if he should roll Floyd onto his side to help him breathe better. Chauvin replied 'No. Staying put where we got him'

Rookie officers J. Alexander Keung (left) and Thomas Lane (right) were also involved in the arrest. Lane had asked Chauvin if he should roll Floyd onto his side to help him breathe better. Chauvin replied ‘No. Staying put where we got him’

The 2013 settlement mentioned by Arradondo pertains to a lawsuit filed by the family of David Cornelius Smith, a black man who died after police pinned him face down while handcuffed outside of a downtown YMCA in 2010.

Video of the arrest showed officers Tasering the 28-year-old, who was mentally ill, several times before subduing him. After nearly four minutes of holding Smith down, under his moans and protests, officer realized he wasn’t breathing. He died a week later.

The case bears a striking resemblance to that of Floyd, who was arrested on May 25 after he was accused of attempting to pay for groceries with a counterfeit $20 bill.

Over the next eight minutes and 46 seconds, Floyd cried out several times that he ‘couldn’t breathe’, pleading with the officers to get off of him and even calling out for his late ‘Mama’ to help him.

After telling officers he was ‘about to die’, Floyd eventually lost consciousness and would never regain it.

Minneapolis PD rookie, Thomas Lane, had asked Chauvin if he should roll Floyd onto his side to help him breathe better. Chauvin replied ‘No. Staying put where we got him’.

Earlier this month, Angela Smith, the sister of David Cornelius Smith, made a tearful and impassioned plea to the city’s civilian Minneapolis Police Conduct Oversight Commission (PCOC) to find out whether the training the family won as part of its settlement was ever conducted, in response to the death of Floyd.

The 2013 settlement mentioned by Arradondo pertains to a lawsuit filed by the family of David Cornelius Smith (above with sister Angela), a black man who died after police pinned him face down while handcuffed outside of a downtown YMCA in 2010.

The 2013 settlement mentioned by Arradondo pertains to a lawsuit filed by the family of David Cornelius Smith (above with sister Angela), a black man who died after police pinned him face down while handcuffed outside of a downtown YMCA in 2010.

The 2013 settlement mentioned by Arradondo pertains to a lawsuit filed by the family of David Cornelius Smith (above with sister Angela), a black man who died after police pinned him face down while handcuffed outside of a downtown YMCA in 2010.

The police chief’s statement was released in response to a public records request for department training records after questions were asked as to whether the Minneapolis PD upheld a promise to require all officer to undergo training on the dangers of positional asphyxia, following the Smith settlement

The police chief’s statement was released in response to a public records request for department training records after questions were asked as to whether the Minneapolis PD upheld a promise to require all officer to undergo training on the dangers of positional asphyxia, following the Smith settlement

The police chief’s statement was released in response to a public records request for department training records after questions were asked as to whether the Minneapolis PD upheld a promise to require all officer to undergo training on the dangers of positional asphyxia, following the Smith settlement

Jeff Storms, a lawyer who represented the Smith family in its lawsuit, told the Tribune he’s ‘not satisfied’ by the chief’s statement and said his team will ‘continue to do our due diligence to ensure that the settlement agreement was complied with.’

Lt. Bob Kroll, the head of the Minneapolis Police union, said he did not disagree with Arradondo’s statement in an interview with WCCO Tuesday.

‘From what we’ve seen there, it’s very tough to refute that,’ Kroll said, adding: ‘But that’s for the criminal justice system to decide.’

PCOC member Abigail Cerra told the Tribune she was ‘stunned’ by Arradondo’s statement.

‘As a prosecutor I would jump on that, calling Rondo as a witness and having Rondo testify about the training that was provided, how often it was provided, testifying as to which officers attended the training.’

Defense attorney, Marshall Tanick, meanwhile warned the comments may ‘significantly prejudice’ Chauvin’s right to a fair trial.

‘I’m fairly sure that the defense team will raise this comment in conjunction with other comments made by public officials to seek dismissal of the charges or at least a change of venue,’ he said.

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