As the Derek Chauvin trial continues, many are talking about the “blue wall of silence.”
The phrase refers to police officers receiving protection from fellow officers when they are accused of wrongdoing, but in this instance, the wall may be crumbling. The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association’s legal defense fund is paying for Chauvin’s defense.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified that Chauvin’s kneeling on the handcuffed Floyd’s neck was “in no way, shape or form” in line with department policy or training. Homicide detective Lt. Richard Zimmerman testified, “If your knee is on a person’s neck, that can kill him.”
Chauvin’s former supervisor, retired Sgt. David Ploeger, testified that the force used on Floyd went on too long and should have ended when the Black man was handcuffed and stopped resisting. An inspector acquainted with Chauvin for two decades and an officer who said the defendant spent a day as her training officer took the witness stand as well.
The criticism didn’t start at trial. Fourteen officers, including Zimmerman, signed an open letter last year saying Chauvin “failed as a human and stripped George Floyd of his dignity and life. This is not who we are.”