Stand up for the facts!

Misinformation isn't going away just because it's a new year. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testifies in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin is charged with causing the death of George Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool) Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testifies in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin is charged with causing the death of George Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testifies in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin is charged with causing the death of George Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

Jon Greenberg
By Jon Greenberg April 9, 2021

Instagram post ignores full Floyd video to falsely claim officer’s knee was not on Floyd’s neck

If Your Time is short

  • Video of the final seconds in the approximately eight minutes of Floyd’s restraint show Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s shoulder.

  • The rest of the video shows Chauvin’s knee on or next to his neck.

  • Doctors say pressure in that area would cut off the flow of blood and oxygen.

Supporters of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin have rallied around the claim that he did not have his knee on George Floyd’s neck. A post on Instagram showed footage from Chauvin’s trial and declared, "Lying media exposed."

"Knee not on neck of George Floyd," the April 8 post said.

The video clip was built around new footage from Police Officer Alex Keung’s body camera. Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, asked Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo about the new footage.

"Would you say that from the perspective Mr. Kueng’s body camera, Officer Chauvin’s knee was more on Mr. Floyd’s shoulder blade?" Nelson asked April 5.

"Yes," Arrandondo said.

But the post ignores when the events in the footage took place.

They occurred as the medics arrived and rolled Floyd’s limp body onto a stretcher — in other words, only in the last seconds of the approximately eight minutes that Chauvin had restrained Floyd.

In the rest of the police chief’s testimony, prosecutor Steve Schleicher drilled down on that point.

Schleicher: "You testified that the particular moment in time that you were viewing officer Keung's body worn camera it appeared, at that moment in time, that the knee of the defendant was more towards the shoulder blade. Is that right?"

Arrandondo: "That is correct."

Schleicher: "That is at a time where the ambulance had already arrived?"

Featured Fact-check

Arrandondo: "Yes."

Schleicher: "Very shortly before they loaded Mr. Floyd onto the gurney?"

Arrandondo: "Yes. That is correct."

Schleicher: "And in your view of the body-worn camera footage, everything you reviewed prior to testifying today, did you see the defendant's knee anywhere but the neck of Mr. Floyd up until that time?"

Arrandondo: "That is correct."

Schleicher: "And so, the knee of the defendant was on Mr. Floyd's neck up until the time you just pointed out?"

Arrandondo: "Yes. When I viewed that video portion, that is the first time that I had seen the knee of the defendant on the shoulder blade area."

Another prosecution witness, Jody Stiger, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant, who viewed the footage, testified that Chauvin applied pressure continuously to Floyd’s neck or neck area. 

Several prosecution witnesses testified that Floyd died from a lack of oxygen, not drugs, as the defense has argued.

Our ruling

An Instagram post said video proved that Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s shoulder, not his neck.

The video was taken only in the last seconds of Chauvin restraining Floyd, and does not show what occurred before. All testimony based on the full video showed that pressure was applied continuously on or near Floyd’s neck. Medical experts say that pressure in that area blocks the flow of oxygen and blood.

We rate this claim False.

 

Our Sources

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Jon Greenberg

Instagram post ignores full Floyd video to falsely claim officer’s knee was not on Floyd’s neck

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up