Derek Chauvin is on trial for George Floyd's death

By Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Melissa Mahtani and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 0300 GMT (1100 HKT) April 6, 2021
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12:47 p.m. ET, April 5, 2021

The Minneapolis police chief is now testifying

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Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo is now testifying. He oversees operations of the entire police department and has held the position for three years.

He grew up in Minneapolis and started as a police officer at the beginning of his career. He has worked in the police department since 1989.

The prosecuting attorney is asking the police chief about his career at the department, and how the agency is organized administratively. 

Arradondo was also asked to identify and point to former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin in the court room 

"Yes. Mr. Chauvin is there," he said, pointing to Chauvin.

12:07 p.m. ET, April 5, 2021

The defense is cross-examining the emergency doctor who tried to save Floyd's life

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Defense attorney Eric Nelson is now questioning Hennepin County Medical Center Emergency Medicine Physician Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld.

Langenfeld provided emergency care to George Floyd after he was taken to the hospital on the evening of May 25, 2020. He is the physician that pronounced Floyd dead.

12:33 p.m. ET, April 5, 2021

Prosecutors are trying to establish Floyd didn't have a heart attack. CNN legal analyst explains why.

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During witness testimony from Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld – the emergency physician who pronounced George Floyd dead – the prosecution honed in on the details of exactly what happened when Floyd got to the hospital.

Langenfeld said the paramedics who brought Floyd to the hospital gave him a report detailing what happened on the scene. He said the report noted Floyd did not have a pulse when paramedics arrived and they started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

He noted that CPR does not mean a heart attack, saying oxygen deficiency – or asphyxia – was "one of the more likely possibilities."

Here's why that's so important:

"It's going to come down to substantial causal factor of death. This is that legal term to keep in mind. Remember it's about whether the force was reasonable or excessive," CNN Legal Analyst Laura Coates told CNN's Kate Bolduan.

"That was a very key moment here. Not only did you learn it was a total of about 60 minutes that George Floyd was under cardiac arrest, but the more likely possibility that actually caused that cardiac arrest, the doctor was careful to say, was hypoxia – loss or deprivation of oxygen. And colloquially, what is that? Asphyxia. We have a link through the testimony that suggests the person who ultimately declared George Floyd dead and tried to save his life in the ER was eliminating possibilities based on what the paramedics did not tell him. A very telling moment was the idea of 'Hey if drugs had been an issues, if over dosing had been suspected, if the person's behavior indicated that was a possibility, wouldn't the paramedics have said that.' In his experience, yes. They often offer that information. The absence of that information allowed him to eliminate a number of possibilities and say quite clearly there, he believe the most dead on possibility, forgive the pun, the most appropriate possibility that caused the cardiac arrest was the loss of oxygen. What do we know to cause that? How about a knee to neck? You have a causal factor here."

"The prosecution needs this link to be able to bring that excessive force allegation along with the substantial causal factor to get them the elements they need to prove their homicide murder and eventually, if possible, manslaughter charges as well," Coates added.

Watch:

12:09 p.m. ET, April 5, 2021

Emergency room doctor testifies oxygen deficiency was likely possible cause of Floyd's cardiac arrest

Witness Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld testifies on April 5 in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. 
Witness Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld testifies on April 5 in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis.  Court TV/Pool/AP

Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld, an emergency physician at Hennepin County Medical Center who provided treatment to George Floyd, just testified that "hypoxia" was a likely cause of George Floyd's cardiac arrest.

Dr. Langenfeld said: "There was no obvious, significant external trauma that would have suggested he suffered anything that could produce bleeding to lead to a cardiac arrest." 

He continued: "Based on the history that was available to me, I felt that hypoxia was one of the more likely possibilities."

In a follow up question, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell had the doctor clarify that "hypoxia" refers to "cardiac arrest meaning oxygen insufficiency." He said that is correct.

Asked again by the prosecuting attorney if the doctor's "leading theory then for the cause of Mr. Floyd's cardiac arrest" was oxygen deficiency, Dr. Langenfeld said:

"That was one of the more likely possibilities. I felt at the time based on information I had, it was more likely than the other possibilities."

The doctor said that "asphyxia" is another name for "death by oxygen deficiency."

"Asphyxia is a commonly understood term," he noted.

Dr. Langenfeld testified that Floyd was in the care of his emergency department for "approximately 30 minutes" and then he pronounced Floyd formally dead.

1:33 p.m. ET, April 5, 2021

Here's what paramedics say happened at the scene when they arrived and treated Floyd

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Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld, an emergency physician at Hennepin County Medical Center who provided treatment to George Floyd, said the paramedics who brought Floyd to the hospital gave him a report detailing what happened on the scene.

The report said emergency responders were originally called for a "lower type of acute event of facial trauma" but then that was upgraded to a call for an "individual in distress," according to Langenfeld.

He said the report noted Floyd did not have a pulse when paramedics arrived and they started CPR.

They also inserted a tube down Floyd's throat to ventilate his lungs. Paramedics also gave Floyd medication to try to resuscitate him as they continued CPR, according to the report.

Langenfeld testified that the paramedics indicated in the report that they tried to resuscitate Floyd for "approximately 30 minutes."

The doctor noted that paramedics did not say in the report whether they thought Floyd overdosed or had a heart attack.

He said the report also did not say that Floyd received CPR from any bystanders or any of the police officers.

"I did not receive a report that Mr. Floyd had received standard CPR, no," Langenfeld testified when asked by the prosecuting attorney whether he received any information or indication from the paramedics when they brought Floyd in that anyone had attempted CPR on him at the scene.

Watch:

12:14 p.m. ET, April 5, 2021

Hospital doctor who officially pronounced George Floyd dead is now testifying

From CNN’s Aaron Cooper in Minneapolis

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The sixth day of testimony in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin is underway. This week's first witness is Dr. Bradford Wankhede Langenfeld. He is an Emergency Medicine physician at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Dr. Langenfeld provided emergency care to George Floyd after he was taken to the hospital on the evening of May 25, 2020.

He is the physician that pronounced Floyd dead.

Dr. Langenfeld is the 20th prosecution witnesses called so far in the trial.

Earlier Monday, Judge Peter Cahill spoke to jurors outside of the view of cameras about an allegation of juror misconduct. He ruled there was not been any misconduct and the jurors were credible.

Watch:

10:28 a.m. ET, April 5, 2021

NOW: Court is in session for the 6th day of testimony in the Derek Chauvin trial

From CNN's Eric Levenson and Aaron Cooper

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The sixth day of testimony in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin just started. We're expecting to hear from more witnesses today.

Prosecutors are set to shift their focus in the second week of the trial from what happened to George Floyd last May to a closer analysis of what it means legally.

The first week of the trial was marked by compelling and potentially devastating testimony. The police department's most senior officer called Chauvin's actions on the day of Floyd's death "totally unnecessary." The trial also centered on a blow-by-blow breakdown of Floyd's last day, including video from a bevy of cellphones, surveillance cameras and police body cameras.

More on the case: Chauvin put his knee on Floyd’s neck on May 25, 2020 as Floyd told Chauvin and three other officers that he could not breathe. 

He has pleaded not guilty to second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.

10:07 a.m. ET, April 5, 2021

Prosecutors are expected to focus on what Chauvin’s actions mean legally

From CNN's Eric Levenson and Aaron Cooper

Prosecutors in the second week of Derek Chauvin's trial are set to shift their focus from what happened to George Floyd last May to a closer analysis of what it means legally.

The first week of the trial in Minneapolis centered on a blow-by-blow breakdown of Floyd's last day, including video from a bevy of cellphones, surveillance cameras and police body cameras; harrowing testimony from bystanders who watched Chauvin kneel on Floyd; descriptions from paramedics and police supervisors who responded to the scene; and Chauvin's own statements about what happened.

With that groundwork established, the prosecution is expected to now focus on proving Chauvin's actions that day should be considered murder and manslaughter.

That will require analysis from medical experts who will explain Floyd's cause of death as well as testimony from police experts who will say that Chauvin used excessive and unnecessary force.

In particular, prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell said in opening statements to expect testimony from Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, the Hennepin County medical examiner and a number of forensic pathologists.

Some of that use of force analysis has already entered the trial. On Thursday, Chauvin's direct supervisor said his use of force should have ended earlier.

"When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended the restraint," Sgt. David Pleoger said. "It would be reasonable to put a knee on someone's neck until they were not resisting anymore, but it should stop when they are no longer combative."

And on Friday, the Minneapolis Police Department's top homicide detective testified that kneeling on Floyd's neck after he had been handcuffed was "totally unnecessary," saying that "if your knee is on someone's neck -- that could kill them."

Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, third-degree murder and third-degree manslaughter.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson has argued that Floyd died of a drug overdose and other preexisting health issues, and he has argued that Chauvin's actions were within his police training. Nelson has not indicated whether Chauvin will testify in his own defense.

You can read more about what happened last week in the trial here.

9:49 a.m. ET, April 5, 2021

The Chauvin trial resumes today. Here's what happened at the trial last week.

It is day 6 of testimony at the Derek Chauvin trial. We're expecting the prosecution to call more witnesses. Here's a recap of what's happened so far at the trial:

  • Day 1: Trial proceedings started with opening statements from the prosecution and defense. Prosecutors revealed that Chauvin was on Floyd's neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds — an update on the initially reported 8 minutes and 46 seconds. After opening statements, jurors heard from three witnesses, including a 911 dispatcher, an employee from a nearby gas station and a professional mixed martial arts fighter who stumbled upon the scene.
  • Day 2: Six bystanders testified on the second day of Chauvin's criminal trial: a 9-year-old girl, three high school students, a mixed martial arts fighter and a Minneapolis firefighter. They described their feelings of horror and fear as they watched Floyd slowly die under Chauvin's knee.
  • Day 3: The third day of Chauvin's trial featured testimony from several bystanders who interacted with Floyd as well as graphic excerpts of police body camera footage showing his arrest and final moments. In the videos, Floyd gasps that he's claustrophobic, repeatedly says he can't breathe and calls for his mother.
  • Day 4: Floyd's girlfriend spoke about Floyd's struggles with opioid addiction, and several first responders said that Floyd appeared dead when they arrived on the scene. A former police shift supervisor testified that Chauvin's use of force should have ended earlier. The jury also heard Chauvin explain his version of what happened in a call captured on body-camera footage.
  • Day 5: Two high-ranking Minneapolis police officers testified on Friday. Lt. Richard Zimmerman, who leads the Minneapolis Police's homicide unit, told the court that the use of force by Chauvin against Floyd was “totally unnecessary.” Zimmerman said the restraint should have “absolutely” stopped once Floyd was handcuffed and on the ground. Sgt. Jon Curtis Edwards described how he secured the crime scene and made contact with J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, who were the only two officers there. Edwards said he had his body camera activated when he arrived, but neither officer had their body camera on when he met them.