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Police chief: Use of force on George Floyd unjustified

by Charissa Koh
Posted 4/05/21, 05:52 pm

The trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin moved into its second week on Monday. Dr. Bradford Langenfeld, the emergency physician who tried to resuscitate George Floyd, testified that he thought Floyd died of asphyxia. Langenfeld was on duty at the Hennepin County Medical Center when paramedics brought Floyd in after trying to resuscitate him for 30 minutes. He said Floyd’s heart had already stopped when he arrived, most likely from cardiac arrest after lack of oxygen. Prosecutors blamed Chauvin for pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes before Floyd died on May 25, 2020. When questioned by Chauvin’s attorneys, the doctor confirmed fentanyl and methamphetamine, both of which were found in Floyd’s body, can cause hypoxia, or insufficient oxygen.

Who else testified on Monday? Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified that police policy and training require officers to de-escalate situations and minimize use of force. Officers are trained in basic first aid and must provide help as soon as possible while waiting for paramedics, and Chauvin should have stopped forcibly restraining Floyd when Floyd stopped resisting, Arradondo said.

Dig Deeper: Read Marvin Olasky’s column about the tragedy of Floyd’s death.

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Charissa Koh

Charissa is a WORLD reporter who often writes about poverty fighting and prison reform, including profiling ministries in the annual Hope Awards for Effective Compassion competition. She is also a part of WORLD's investigative unit, the Caleb Team. Charissa resides with her husband, Josh, in Austin, Texas. Follow her on Twitter @CharissaKoh.

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  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Tue, 04/06/2021 07:53 am

    Again, we must remember that George Floyd weighed 69 lbs more than Derek Chuavin and the motive to keep him down was because he was acting erratic and unstable- like he had drugs in his system, some which can produce surges of superhuman strength.  I was talking to a nurse not long ago and she was describing a new drug that caused people to injure themselves. A guy kept charging the bus running full speed over and over again.  Was this part of Chuavin's reason, to make sure George didn't hurt himself by running into traffic or some other erratic behavior? Also, he had a bunch of rookie cops around and he thought the extra measures were needed.  

    Typically, fellow cops wouldn't testify against another like this, so is this an attempt to make the bad situation go away by letting Chuavin be the fall guy? It is to the benefit of the police chief to see Chuavin put away for many years. 

    Now we have to be careful to ascribe good or bad motives to an individual but it does seem reasonable to want to hold the big guy down so he wouldn't hurt himself or others. George had over three times the dose limit of fentanyl in his system which causes people to die. Had he not had the drugs in his system, it is unlikely that he would have died. 

  • not silent
    Posted: Tue, 04/06/2021 03:52 pm

    In my job as a healthcare worker, I've had to deal with patients who were larger than I was and who were acting erratically. Of course, I sometimes had fear of what "might happen"; but, as a professional; but I had to set that aside so that I could deal with what WAS happening in a rational manner which helped the patient, which was consistent with my training and profession, and which followed the policies of my employer. We were supposed to be able to anticipate the worst, but that was not the same as taking action before it was actually happening!

    This is a drastic example, but stay with me.  I know that patients can go into cardiac arrest (i.e,. code blue), and I've even seen it happen.  So I might be afraid certain patients are going to "code" and I might review what to do for a code blue in my mind; but that is very different from jumping on a patient who still has a pulse and starting chest compressions because they "look like" someone who "might" code!  CPR can save lives when needed and done correctly; but, because it can break a person's ribs and breastbone, you don't want to use it unless you need it!  Doing CPR on someone when it wasn't needed just to show a bunch of students how to do it would REALLY be horrific.  It might kill the patient and would probably cause me to get sued, to lose my license, and to be charged with assault. 

    Healthcare workers don't like to rat on each other either, though most of us have probably seen things that concerned us.  I probably wouldn't speak up for something that didn't violate procedures or harm the patient, but you had better believe I would say something if I witnessed a situation where someone disregarded proper procedure and caused the death of a patient.

    I get that police have to deal with people who are more aggressive and/or dangerous; but one would hope that a police officer would have the professionalism and training to help them act based on training and procedures instead of acting out of fear and using drastic measures when they are clearly not needed!  Regardless of how "scary" Mr. Floyd may have seemed initially, it doesn't make sense to me that four police officers would keep fearing someone who had taken a potentially fatal overdose of opiods, who was handcuffed face down with someone's knee on their neck. and who was not resisting but pleading for their life.    


  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Tue, 04/06/2021 07:36 pm

    Chauvin was not giving Floyd CPR but was holding George Floyd down using a standard technique used in their training with an uncooperative person. Floyd had already resisted arrest, was acting erratic and his speech was incoherent. When asked if he was “on something”, Floyd lied and denied it. So Chauvin didn’t “disregarded proper procedure” but was following them but George Floyd had a lethal dose of fentanyl in his system which was really the cause of death - along side his bad heart. 

    This may not make sense to you, but big men can get violent quickly turning a calm situation into a life or death one - for Chauvin, the rookie cops, or Floyd himself.  This is especially true for people who are on drugs as you should be well aware.

    Here is Tucker Carlson presenting the evidence.

  • not silent
    Posted: Tue, 04/06/2021 09:45 pm

    For Cyborg, sorry, I thought it would be clear that I was using CPR as an example of a a technique which is used in life or death situations but is only warranted when the situation is LITERALLY life or death-not because someone is fearful or concerned about what "might" happen.  (ie., I obviously get that Mr. Chauvin wasn't doing CPR and that police restraint and CPR are not the same.)     

    However, when I said that Mr. Chauvin disregarded proper procedures, I wasn't saying it based on my own knowledge. I was going by what the police chief said about Chauvin's actions.  To quote from the article,  "Chauvin should have stopped forcibly retraining Floyd when Floyd stopped resisting, Arradondo said."

    In case it wasn't clear, the part that doesn't make sense to me is not that "big men can get violent quickly."  While I'm sure I haven't seen the kinds of things police encounter in their jobs, I have seen big men suddenly become violent towards me and have had to deal with it myself using de-escalation. I've also been around men (and women) who were high, drunk, psychotic, abusive, and lying through their teeth and people who were actively suicidal. The part that doesn't make sense to me is why Mr. Chauvin kept restraining Mr. Floyd for several minutes after he STOPPED being violent and even when he was clearly unresponsive. It's not just my opinion, Cyborg.  Apparently the police chief feels the same way.

    You and Mr. (Tucker) Carlson are obviously entitled to your opinions; but, just as I would go with what a doctor said about the need for CPR, I am going with what the police chief said about proper procedures in this case instead of what a media personality says. Regardless of the outcome of this trial, people will be angry; and there could be violence.Even if we don't agree about this case, I hope we can agree to pray for the people and families involved (Mr. Floyd's and Mr. Chauvin's); for the lawyers, judge, and jury; and for peace, justice, and God's will in the midst of these difficult times.