In other matters of the case, however, Brodd seemed to stick with his interpretation of what happened. What the prosecution called “writhing on the ground because he can’t breathe,” Brodd deemed to be resisting. When Floyd said “everything hurts,” Brodd admitted he didn’t “note it.”
When Floyd said his neck hurts, Brodd also admitted that he didn’t make a note of it. Why it’s almost as if he was preparing for this very moment to be of use to the defense. In fact, his testimony contradicts nearly every police official who’s testified in this case during the first two weeks, including Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo.
“There’s an initial reasonableness in trying to just get him under control in the first few seconds,” Arradondo testified last Monday, “but once there was no longer any resistance and clearly when Mr. Floyd was no longer responsive, and even motionless, to continue to apply that level of force to a person prone out, handcuffed behind their back, that, that in no way, shape, or form is anything that is by policy.
“It is not part of our training, and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values.”
The defense continued building on its position that Floyd’s drug use caused his death, with attorney Eric Nelson drawing in on the testimony of a woman who knew Floyd and a retired paramedic. The former emergency worker Michelle Moseng testified that Floyd told her that he had taken an opioid during an earlier arrest in 2019 but he was not in respiratory distress as a result at that time.
Shawanda Hill, who was in the SUV Floyd rode in at the time of his detainment, testified that Floyd was “happy, normal, talking, alert” before his death on May 25, 2020. She said she had bumped into him at the Cup Foods store and he offered to give her a ride home; but when she was taking a call from her daughter, Floyd fell asleep. Hill said he nodded off repeatedly, but Floyd didn’t get up until Hill told him police were outside his window. At one point, an officer had a gun pointed at the window, she said.
“So he instantly grabbed the wheel and he was like, ‘please please don’t kill me. Please please don’t shoot me. Don’t shoot me. What did I do? Just tell me what I did,’” Hill recounted.
Testimony from Minneapolis police officer Peter Chang seemed to support another element of Chauvin’s defense, that a loud and unruly crowd of onlookers posed an added risk and distraction to officers. Chang described the crowd as “aggressive,” but earlier witnesses testified that they were only frustrated and desperately trying to get Floyd help.
Genevieve Hansen, an off-duty firefighter who lived in the area of Cup Foods, testified that she tried to help but former Minneapolis Police Officer Tou Thao prevented her from intervening and even questioned her authority. “’If you really are a Minnesota firefighter you would know better than to get involved,’” Hansen said of Thao’s reported words. She broke down in tears when describing how frustrated she felt knowing that she could help but not even being allowed to try. She admitted to calling officers a “b—h.” “Mm hmm, yeah, I got quite angry after Mr. Floyd was loaded into the ambulance and there was no point in trying to reason with them anymore because they had just killed somebody,” Hansen said.
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