SRJC distances itself from Chauvin trial use-of-force defense expert

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Courtesy Court TV

Barry Brodd, use-of-force defense expert who testified for Derek Chauvin in his trial for the murder of George Floyd, taught at SRJC until 2013.

Nick Vides, Editor

Barry Brodd, the use-of-force expert who testified for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s defense in the George Floyd murder trial, taught a variety of police training courses at Santa Rosa Junior College before his 2013 retirement. According to his own resume, Brodd’s instruction included the now controversial “carotid restraint,” which Chauvin used to restrain George Floyd.

Carotid restraint compresses the neck and restricts blood flow to the brain. Brodd testified on April 13 that this technique is “not a use of force. It’s a control technique,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt.”

SRJC’s Dean of Public Safety Joshua Adams was quick to separate the department’s current curriculum from what Brodd claimed he taught during his tenure at SRJC.

“It is important to note that Mr. Brodd’s views on use-of-force are in stark opposition to the values held by SRJC and those taught in our Basic Police Academy,” he said. “The use of carotid restraint techniques are not taught or endorsed by [the Public Safety Training Center] or by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, which provides the standards for training across the state.”

During Brodd’s 40 years at the JC, he taught an introduction to criminal justice course that included units on chemical agents, managing civil disobedience, weapons laws, interview and interrogation techniques, patrol procedures. He was also an active Santa Rosa Police Department officer from 1982 to 2004.

Graduates of SRJC’s Public Safety Training Center often go on to serve local police departments including Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, so it’s possible Brodd taught students who now carry badges in the community.

On June 9, 2020, SRPD Chief Rainer Navarro announced SRPD would stop using the carotid restraint as a use-of-force procedure. “The decision to change this policy is the right one right now,” Navarro said at the time.

Three days later, SRJC President Dr. Frank Chong said the college’s police force “discontinued the usage of the carotid restraint, effective June 5, 2020.”

In response to Brodd’s recent testimony in the Chauvin trial, Navarro said, “Mr. Brodd has not been employed by the department since 2004. His comments do not reflect the values and beliefs of the Santa Rosa Police Department.”

On April 17, Brodd’s former Santa Rosa home was vandalized with what SRPD said was animal blood on the house. The vandals left a pig’s head on the front porch. Authorities believe the home was vandalized in response to Brodd’s testimony. Brodd currently resides in Montana.

Brodd received $82,456.44 in pension and benefits in 2020 from the city of Santa Rosa for his 22 years at SRPD.

SRJC paid Brodd $1,392.35 in 2013 and $11,503 in 2012 in salary as an instructor.

Additional reporting by Harvey Rouleau IV.