Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo told George Floyd’s family over the weekend that the four former officers involved in his killing were “complicit.”
“Being silent or not intervening, to me — you’re complicit. So, I don’t see a level of distinction any different,” Arradondo said via CNN.
On Sunday night, Arradondo spoke with the media outlet during a demonstration following the death of Floyd — who died last week after an officer knelt on his neck while three other officers stood by.
And although Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Friday that charges against the three other officers are likely, Floyd’s family — who were being interviewed by CNN at the same time the outlet was interviewing Arradondo — had a question for the police chief.
“I want to know if he’s going to get justice for my brother and arrest [and convict] all the officers [involved in his killing]?” Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd asked Arradondo via CNN reporter Sara Snider.
“Mr. Floyd died in our hands and so I see that as being complicit,” Arradondo said to the family, after taking off his hat.
He added: “Silence and inaction — you’re complicit. You’re complicit. If there were one solitary voice that would have intervened ... that’s what I would have hoped for.”
Arradondo said he had “never experienced” anything like this case in his career, and viewing the footage of the crime gave him a “visceral” reaction. He also said that firing all four officers was a clear-cut decision for him.
“There are absolute truths in life ... the killing of Mr. Floyd was an absolute truth that it was wrong,” said Arradondo. “I did not need days or weeks or months or processes or bureaucracies to tell me that what occurred out here last Monday was wrong.”
The three other ex-officers involved in Floyd’s death are J Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane.
According to the official complaint, Kueng held Floyd’s back while Lane held down his legs as Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s neck. As Floyd repeatedly told the officers “I can’t breathe,” Kueng, Lane and Thao, according to prosecutors, “stayed in their positions.” Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total, according to the complaint. For nearly 3 minutes of that time, Floyd was non-responsive.