ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Katie Blackwell, a Minneapolis police inspector, continued her testimony on Friday defending the policies of the Minneapolis Police Department and saying the three former officers charged with depriving George Floyd of his civil rights did not follow those standards.

Blackwell, who used to lead training at the department, took the stand for hours as the prosecution exhaustively questioned her about the requirements to become a police officer and the policies they have to follow. She described their duty to intervene, and obligation to render medical aid and use certain types of force judiciously.

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She said that many of these principles were reiterated across multiple trainings and documents so they would become “muscle memory” to the officers.

“As a police officer, you will be responsible for your actions and inactions,” she read from a police manual before the court.

After watching footage from body-worn cameras, she testified that all three defendants — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — acted “inconsistent” of the department’s policy on duty to intervene on May 25, 2020, when convicted former officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes, killing him. She also said Lane and Kueng’s actions that day were inconsistent of the use-of-force policy.

But training is as at the heart of the case for the defense, too. Thomas Plunkett, the defense attorney for Kueng, is aiming to paint a picture of how his client was a rookie officer on the job with inadequate training when Floyd died.

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On Thursday afternoon, he argued that the Minneapolis Police Department fostered a military-like culture in which younger officers were required to show deference to their superiors. Lane and Kueng graduated from recruited status in 2019; Chauvin was the field training officer for Kueng.

Plunkett read a part of the department’s academy manual for recruits that said, “Instant and unquestioned obedience is demanded.”

He also questioned Blackwell about a SurveyMonkey sent by her about the field training officer program she developed. Plunkett asked if the problems raised in the answers to the survey were “systemic and deep,” and Blackwell confirmed.

Blackwell will return to the stand when the trial resumes at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

Thao, Lane and Kueng are charged with failing to render medical aid to Floyd; Kueng and Thao are also charged with failing to intervene against Chauvin as he deprived Floyd of his civil rights. Chauvin pleaded guilty to federal charges last year. He is currently serving a 22-and-a-half-year prison sentence after a jury in Hennepin County found him guilty of murder.

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Thao, Lane and Kueng are also set to stand trial in Hennepin County for aiding and abetting murder. That trial is slated for June.

Caroline Cummings