Pig's head left at former home of defense witness who said Derek Chauvin's restraint of George Floyd was 'justified'

Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY
·2 min read

A group of people vandalized the former Northern California home of an expert witness who testified for the defense in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, police said, throwing a pig's head on the front porch and blood splatter on the house.

The incident occurred in Santa Rosa, California, where retired police officer Barry Brodd once lived and worked. Brodd last week testified in Chauvin's trial, saying the former Minneapolis police officer was "justified" in his use of force against George Floyd, who died in police custody last May.

The Santa Rosa Police Department said Brodd no longer lives at the residence nor in California, but that, "It appears the suspects in this vandalism were targeting Mr. Brodd for his testimony."

Brodd was the first witness to say he believed that Chauvin was following proper police practice when he knelt on Floyd's neck. However, several Minneapolis police officers, including the police chief, along with local police trainers and national use-of-force experts, testified that Chauvin's actions were not justified.

"I felt that Officer Chauvin's interactions with Mr. Floyd were following his training, following current practices in policing and objectively reasonable," Brodd said.

In this image from video, Barry Brodd, a use of force expert testifies as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn.
In this image from video, Barry Brodd, a use of force expert testifies as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn.

More: Defense witness says Chauvin's use of force against George Floyd was 'justified'

Chauvin is facing charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Closing arguments in the trial began Monday.

In a statement, Santa Rosa police said they received a call about vandalism at the home around 3 a.m. Saturday.

"Officers arrived to find the front of the victim’s house smeared with what appeared to be animal blood and a decapitated pig’s head near the front porch," the statement said.

The alleged vandals were dressed in all black and ran away.

"Because Mr. Brodd no longer lives in the city of Santa Rosa, it appears the victim was falsely targeted," police said.

About 45 minutes later, a statue of a hand at a nearby mall was also vandalized with what appeared to be animal blood, police said. "The suspects also left a sign in front of the statue which had a picture of a pig and read 'Oink Oink,'" the statement said. A description of the suspects at the mall matched that of the suspects at Brood's former home, police said.

In this early Saturday morning, April 17, 2021, photo, a Santa Rosa downtown district maintenance worker cleans the "Agraria" hand sculpture vandalized with what appeared to be blood outside the Santa Rosa Plaza in Santa Rosa, Calif.
In this early Saturday morning, April 17, 2021, photo, a Santa Rosa downtown district maintenance worker cleans the "Agraria" hand sculpture vandalized with what appeared to be blood outside the Santa Rosa Plaza in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Police have not announced any arrests in the case and said the suspects face felony vandalism charges because the damage to the house exceeded $400.

In a statement after Brodd's testimony, Santa Rosa Police Chief Rainer Navarro said the former officer's comments "do not reflect the values and beliefs of the Santa Rosa Police Department."

Contributing: N'dea Yancey-Bragg, Tami Abdollah, Kevin McCoy and Grace Hauck

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chauvin trial defense witness Barry Brodd's former house vandalized