Minneapolis police chief declares other officers ‘complicit’ in George Floyd death

Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney who has been in Minneapolis for the last week, has declared that he is not leaving town until all four officers involved are charged.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo (Credit: CNN)

Derek Chauvin was arrested for George Floyd’s death but the other officers involved are “complicit” as well according to the Minneapolis police chief.

There was a memorial held for Floyd Sunday at the place where he was killed at 38th and Chicago earlier in the week and Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo attended. Arradondo shared that he’d grown up a block from the tragedy and wanted to offer his condolences.

Flowers, signs and balloons are left near a makeshift memorial to George Floyd near the spot where he died while in custody of the Minneapolis police, on May 29, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Kerem Yucel / AFP) (Photo by KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images)

READ MORE: Michael Jordan issues statement about George Floyd: ‘I am plain angry’

“I came to pay my respects to Mr. Floyd and I came to just offer prayer for his loved ones, his family and our community that’s hurting,” the chief said told CNN’s Sara Sidner.

He added the need to be one with those gathered during this time of unrest.

“I wanted to be in a space of how do we heal and how do we move from this and so , it’s going to take time …and everyone here is trying to do the best that they can to offer what they’re feeling and those are all valid but I just needed to be here in this space today and offer my respects.”

Moving forward, he wanted the community to know that law enforcement was not an institution that would mean them harm. He did not want any doubt left in their minds.

“At the end of the day, our community members need to know that the men and women that put this badge on, that they are doing so in service to them and they should not have to doubt the integrity and if they’re going to be treated in a professional and compassionate way.”

He stated that Floyd’s death was not a representation of that.

“There are absolute truths in life. We need air to breathe. The killing of Mr. Floyd was an absolute truth and so I did not need days or weeks or months, or processes or bureaucracies to tell me what occurred out here last Monday. It was wrong,” he said.

READ MORE: Philando Castile’s mother speaks out on George Floyd: ‘Why no one is being held accountable?’



He shared his disgust at seeing Floyd on the ground with Chauvin’s knee on his neck for more than seven minutes. He said there was a visceral reaction and reached out to Black leaders and repeated once more his decision of firing the officers involved for their conduct.

“In my mind, this was a violation of humanity. This was a violation of the oath that the majority of the men and women that put this uniform on, this goes absolutely against it. This is contrary to what we believe in … Again what occurred to me, it was an absolute truth it was wrong. Period,” the chief said.

Arradondo expressed his sympathy to the Floyd family who was watching the interview live. He wished that they were not enduring this loss and wished he had the ability to turn back time.

“I would say to the Floyd family that I am absolutely devastatingly sorry for their loss. If I could do anything to bring Mr. Floyd back, I would do that. I would move heaven and Earth to do that. So I’m very sorry,” he said.

Arradondo also told Sidner three other officers involved in Floyd’s death were “complicit” because they did not stop Chauvin from placing his knee on Floyd’s neck or try to intervene. They just looked on as the unarmed, 46-year old pleaded for his life as Chauvin applied pressure. Arradondo cited their inaction as one of the primary reasons why he fired them so quickly.

Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney who has been in Minneapolis for the last week, has declared that he is not leaving town until all four officers involved are charged. Thus far, only Chauvin was arrested for third-degree murder. Merritt took Arradondo’s comments as potential evidence.

“I was hoping the police chief would put on his hat and go arrest the officers that helped murder #GeorgeFloyd but I appreciate he gave statements that they are all complicit which can be used at trial,” he tweeted.


Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!