Chauvin Trial Day 3: Jurors, eyewitnesses watch body cam, surveillance footage

Brenda Watkins
April 1, 2021

"Hello. I'm on the block of 38th and Chicago, and I literally watched police officers not take a pulse and not do anything to save a man, and I am a first responder myself, and I literally have it on video".

Floyd was 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds, according to the autopsy, which also found fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system.

A court in the USA state of Minnesota proceeds Thursday with the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer charged in the death of George Floyd last year that sparked widespread protests against police brutality and systemic racism last year.

Events spun out of control that day soon after Mr Floyd allegedly handed at cashier at Cup Foods, 19-year-old Christopher Martin, a counterfeit bill for a pack of cigarettes.

Martin said he immediately believed the $20 bill was fake. But he said he accepted it, despite believing the amount would be taken out of his paycheque by his employer, because he did not think Mr Floyd knew it was counterfeit and "I thought I'd be doing him a favour".

As the crowd of bystanders became more hostile toward police, Frazier said that Chauvin applied more pressure with his knee to Floyd.

"He just kind of shaking his head and putting his hands in the air, like, 'Why is this happening to me?'" "I offered to pay for it".

Mr Martin said he initially planned to just put the bill on his own "tab" but then second-guessed himself and told a manager, who sent him outside to ask Mr Floyd to return to the store. He told the court he engaged in conversation with Mr Floyd, urging him to get into the police auto.

After police arrived, Mr Floyd was handcuffed and Mr Chauvin held him down with his knee on his neck until he passed out and was taken away by an ambulance.

Martin said that inside the store, he asked Floyd if he played baseball, and Floyd said he played football, but it took Floyd some time to respond, so "it would appear that he was high".

"He seemed to be having an average Memorial Day, just living his life", Martin said. "But he did seem high".

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Martin said he left the store again when he heard "yelling and screaming" outside.

It ended with Mr Chauvin pressing his knee into Mr Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes before he died. "George was motionless, limp".

Mr Martin testified on Wednesday that he watched Mr Floyd's arrest outside with "disbelief - and guilt."

Also testifying on Wednesday was Charles McMillian, 61, who said he was driving by that day and stopped to see what was going on. Video footage of the arrest on May 25, 2020, sparked global protests decrying police brutality against Black people.

Jurors on Wednesday saw about 20 minutes of police body camera video that spanned the time from when police approached Floyd's vehicle and when he was loaded into an ambulance.

At one point during his testimony, McMillan broke down sobbing, dropped his head, and removed his glasses to wipe tears from his eyes after prosecutors played the video of police putting Floyd in the vehicle. But he described Floyd as friendly and talkative.

"I feel helpless. I don't have a Momma either".

FLORIDO: And when it was the defense attorney's turn to question this witness, he also pressed her the way that he had pressed Donald Williams earlier to acknowledge that the group of bystanders grew loud and started calling Chauvin names.

Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the police force, faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge-second-degree murder.

The trial is expected to last about a month.

The other three former police officers involved in the arrest-Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng-are to be tried separately later this year.

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