Updated: April 05, 2021 07:27 AM
Created: April 04, 2021 09:44 PM
University of St. Thomas law professor and former defense attorney Rachel Moran told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS one of the more interesting items emerging from the murder trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin is the rare occurrence of police officers testifying against “one of their own.”
Chauvin has been charged with second and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the in-custody death of George Floyd on May 25.
Last week, the jury heard testimony from retired Minneapolis Police Sgt. David Pleoger, Chauvin's former 3rd Precinct supervisor; Sgt. Jon Edwards, the 3rd Precinct overnight supervisor; and Lt. Richard Zimmerman with the MPD homicide unit.
“You had Chauvin’s former supervisor and a current lieutenant testifying on behalf of the state, which is not unheard of, but it is rare,” Moran said. “And we are expected to hear testimony from Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, which is also something you don’t often see.”
Moran said Arradondo has given some clues as to what he might say if he is called to the witness stand this week.
“Given that he spoke out and said the officers denied Mr. Floyd his dignity, we know that the chief has expressed very strong feelings from the beginning about the use of force in this case,” Moran said. “And so we can anticipate that he will probably express those strong feelings on the witness stand.”
Moran said getting three, and now possibly four, Minneapolis police officers to testify in this case has been a big gain for the prosecution.
“And it is almost as if the Minneapolis Police Department is now presenting a united front in the opposite way police departments have historically done in that they are collectively coming to court to say this is not an appropriate use of force," Moran said.
It has not been confirmed by the court, but Moran said the prevailing thought is Chief Arradondo will take the witness stand sometime this week.
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