Who is Barry Brodd? Use-of-force expert defends Derek Chauvin, says George Floyd was not 'resting comfortably'
Brodd testified that George Floyd was non-compliant and Chauvin's use of force justified because 'A compliant person would have both their hands at the small of their back and be resting comfortably'
The latest witness to testify in the trial of Derek Chauvin was use-of-force expert Barry Brodd. Brodd defended Chauvin's actions, saying that George Floyd was non-compliant based on his view. "A compliant person would have both their hands at the small of their back and be resting comfortably," he told jurors on April 13. He was then asked by prosecutor Steve Schleicher, "So attempting to breathe while restrained is being slightly non-compliant?" To that, Brodd had a short answer: "No".
The shocking testimony, which justifies Chauvin's actions has since been slammed online. Many social media users have heavily criticized Brodd, saying his testimony is proof of the need for police reform. Others have also trolled the Brodd, calling him a variety of names. As Brodd is trending on social media, we thought it was apt to look into his history. Who exactly is Brodd? What has he done to be called an expert at this trial? Those are some of the questions we aim to answer as we dive into his past.
Who is Barry Brodd?
A former police officer himself, Brodd has a long association with law enforcement. After graduating from UC Davis with a degree in labour and industrial relations, he attended George Mason University. According to his LinkedIn profile, Brodd graduated with a degree in law enforcement in 1975. Between 1976 and 1982, he worked as an officer with the United States Park Police in Washington DC and San Fransisco. Brodd then spent 22 years with the Santa Rosa Police Department, between 1982 and 2004. He was also president of the police union during his time with the department.
During his stint with the Santa Rosa PD, Brodd also served as a faculty member of Santa Rosa Junior College, a role he stayed at until 2013. Here, he taught criminal justice topics including use-of-force, managing civil disobedience, weapons laws, interview and interrogation techniques and handling disputes. In 1995, he opened BVB & Associates, his own police consultancy firm. He now serves as the owner with a specialization in police and civilian defense cases.
We did find one case document linking him to the Santa Rosa PD. In the 1984 case of People v Reed, Brodd was listed as an undercover narcotics investigator. We could not find any information about Brodd's personal life and his family. Brodd currently lives in Bozeman, Montanna according to a website we found online.
Defense of Chauvin
Brodd offered a strong defense of Chauvin's actions. He said that "I felt that Derek Chauvin was justified and acting with objective reasonableness following Minneapolis Police Department policy and current standards of law enforcement in his interactions with Mr. Floyd." He justified his defense by arguing that "so I see his (Floyd's) arm position in the picture that's posted, that a compliant person would have both their hands in the small of their back and just be resting comfortably, vs. like he's still moving around."
He also talked about other factors that day, saying, "In this situation there were space limitations: Mr. Floyd was butted up against a patrol car, there was traffic still driving down the street, there were crowd issues that took the attention of the officers and Mr. Floyd was still somewhat resisting." That argument has led to widespread condemnation online. One person tweeted, "Here is a picture of my cats. According to defense witness Barry Brodd, the orange cat is not on top of the black cat"
Another slammed him and tweeted, "If "defending cops who murder unarmed Black people" was a person, it would be Barry Brodd." One person said, "Wow I hope I never run into a cop trained by Barry Brodd." "Barry Brodd said what you would expect a white supremacist to say" one person tweeted. Another joked, "Barry Brodd looking like he's missing a KKK meeting to be here today."
If "defending cops who murder unarmed Black people" was a person, it would be Barry Brodd.— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) April 13, 2021
Wow I hope I never run into a cop trained by Barry Brodd— Jimni'ii Timni'ii (@specterspew) April 14, 2021
Barry Brodd said what you would expect a white supremacist to say.— Reg (@iPapai52) April 14, 2021
Brodd testified that he first reached out to the Minneapolis Attorney General's office and offered his services, but was not retained. He then turned to the defense and has been paid $11,400 so far to examine the case. In 2018, Brodd defended Chicago PD officer Jason Van Dyke, saying his use of force against Laquan McDonald was justified. However, Van Dyke was later found to be guilty of second-degree murder. He has also testified in nine other trials to date.