Highlights from days six and seven of the Chauvin trial

During the sixth day of the Chauvin trial in the case of the death of George Floyd, the first witness to take the stand was Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld.

Langenfeld was the doctor who was trying to resuscitate Floyd when he was brought to Hennepin County Medical Center on May 25, 2020.

When Floyd was brought into the hospital, he was in cardiac arrest. Doctors tried to start his heart, but eventually could not. Dr. Langenfeld linked Floyd’s cardiac arrest to “oxygen deficiency” and due to “complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression”, Floyd’s death was determined to be a homicide. 

Dr. Langenfeld explained that the longer a patient is without CPR after cardiac arrest, there are significantly reduced chances to resuscitate. He said that there is approximately 10 to 15 percent chance reduction for every minute that CPR is not administered. 

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, who fired Chauvin the day after the incident, testified that Chauvin’s actions violated department policies and did not represent the police department as the frontline of keeping people safe. 

Arradondo also testified that when a police officer is waiting for Emergency Medical Services, they are supposed to provide medical response including checking for pulse and performing CPR. 

On Tuesday, the seventh day of the Chauvin trial, several law enforcement witnesses testified about Minneapolis police department use-of-force policy. 

One of the officers, Nicole Mackenzie, who is the medical support coordinator for the Minneapolis PD, confirmed Arradondo’s testimony, saying that police officers are supposed to provide medical support before paramedics arrive. 

In the now infamous video showing Floyd being restrained and saying over 20 times that he could not breathe, police officers repeated that if he couldn’t breathe, he wouldn’t be able to talk. Mackenzie said, “just because they’re speaking doesn’t mean they’re breathing adequately.”

An impactful testimony for the defense was from Lieutenant Johnny Mercil, a use of force trainer with the Minneapolis PD, said that Chauvin’s restraint of Floyd was not taught in departmental training, but depending on the circumstance, would not be considered “unauthorized”.

When Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, cross-examined Mercil, he asked if an unconscious person could regain consciousness and fight and whether a restraint requires pressure on both sides of the neck for a person to go unconscious, which Chauvin did not do, and Mercil said yes to both questions.

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