•   
  •   
  •   

Crime Witnesses to George Floyd's death express frustration over not being able to save him

15:40  02 april  2021
15:40  02 april  2021 Source:   abcnews.go.com

Opinion: One of the most important trials America has ever seen is about to start

  Opinion: One of the most important trials America has ever seen is about to start Elie Honig writes that while there is no way to predict what the jury in the Derek Chauvin trial will decide, this uncertainty is even more pronounced in a case involving the police and race.We have a jury in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with the May 2020 killing of George Floyd. Now we stand on the precipice of one of the most important trials this country has ever seen.

One needed an auxiliary cable for her cellphone. Another was walking her 9-year-old cousin to the corner store to buy snacks. An off-duty firefighter was strolling home from a serenity garden, and another man, who described himself as "nosey," was driving around his neighborhood and pulled over when he saw police detaining a Black man.

On the warm spring evening of May 25, 2020, they and others converged just after 8 p.m. outside the Cup Foods store on the corner of Chicago Avenue and East 38th Street in south Minneapolis, witnessing what prosecutors have described as the torturous murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers.

First responders' testimony offers somber picture of a lifeless George Floyd when medics arrived

  First responders' testimony offers somber picture of a lifeless George Floyd when medics arrived Paramedics' testimony on Thursday during the trial of Derek Chauvin painted a somber picture of an unresponsive George Floyd shortly after they arrived at the scene, where the former police officer was recorded kneeling on Floyd's neck last May.Their testimony provided jurors with a detailed and disturbing medical account of the events that transpired after Floyd's arrest as medics worked to resuscitate him. These recollections marked a shift in the trial that had thus far been dominated largely by emotional eyewitness testimony and gripping bystander video footage for the past three days.

Witness after witness testified this week at the trial of one of those now-former officers, Derek Chauvin, and told a jury, at times through tears and even sobs, what they saw in excruciating detail. Several provided commentary to cellphone videos they took of Floyd dying.

a group of people standing in front of a building: An image of witnesses at the scene from Officer Thao’s body camera, during the arrest of George Floyd in Minneapolis, May 25, 2020, exhibited during the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin. © Minneapolis Police Dept. An image of witnesses at the scene from Officer Thao’s body camera, during the arrest of George Floyd in Minneapolis, May 25, 2020, exhibited during the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin.

'You can't win'

Charles McMillian, 61, was in his 2006 Dodge Caravan and stopped at a red light in front of Cup Foods, planning to turn east on East 38th Street when his attention turned to an encounter between police and a Black man sitting in a blue Mercedes Benz SUV.

Key takeaways from 1st week of Derek Chauvin trial

  Key takeaways from 1st week of Derek Chauvin trial Here are some key takeaways five days into Derek Chauvin's trial. The high-profile trial is expected to last another three weeks, as Chauvin faces charges of manslaughter, second-degree murder and third-degree murder. Even President Joe Biden is "watching closely," according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

McMillian, who lives in the neighborhood, said he stopped because he was being "nosy."

He said he got out of his van and watched the interaction -- only later he'd learn that it was 46-year-old George Floyd.

Police officers attempt to remove George Floyd from a vehicle outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis, on May 25, 2020, in an image from police body cam video shown at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, March 31, 2021. © Court TV/Pool via AP Police officers attempt to remove George Floyd from a vehicle outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis, on May 25, 2020, in an image from police body cam video shown at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, March 31, 2021.

"Basically, I [saw] the officer asking Mr. Floyd to get out of the truck," McMillian recalled.

After briefly allowing Floyd, who had been placed in handcuffs, to sit on the sidewalk, two officers McMillian later learned were Thomas Lane and Alexander Kueng, had Floyd stand up as they walked him across the street to a police car parked outside Cup Foods.

As the officers attempted to place Floyd in the police car, McMillian said Floyd appeared to struggle and collapse in the back seat and told the officers he was "claustrophobic." McMillian said he began speaking to Floyd from a distance. It turned out to be the last full conversation Floyd would have with another human being.

Police chief: Fired cop broke policy in pinning Floyd

  Police chief: Fired cop broke policy in pinning Floyd MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis police chief who called George Floyd's death “murder” soon after it happened testified that Officer Derek Chauvin had clearly violated department policy when he pinned Floyd's neck beneath his knee for more than 9 minutes. Continuing to kneel on Floyd's neck once he was handcuffed behind his back and lying on his stomach was “in no way, shape or form” part of department policy or training, "and it is certainlyContinuing to kneel on Floyd's neck once he was handcuffed behind his back and lying on his stomach was “in no way, shape or form” part of department policy or training, "and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values,” Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Monday on D

a man sitting at a table using a laptop: Witness Charles McMillian wipes his face while testifying during the second day of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, March 30, 2021 © Pool Witness Charles McMillian wipes his face while testifying during the second day of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, March 30, 2021

"I was telling Mr. Floyd, 'Just comply with them. Get on in the car because you can't win,'" McMillian said.

Police body camera footage played in court showed Floyd respond to McMillian: "I don't wanna win. I'm claustrophobic. I got anxiety. I'm scared as f---, man."

As the officers struggled with Floyd, two more now-former officers, Chauvin and Tou Thao, arrived on the scene. McMillian said he recognized Chauvin from an encounter the previous week when he said he told the officer, "At the end of the day, you go home to your family safe."

MORE: What we know about the jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial

He said the officers forced Floyd into the back of the squad car on the driver's side and struggled with him, eventually removing him through the rear passenger-side door. Floyd, still handcuffed, was placed prone on the ground. McMillian said he saw Chauvin putting his knee on the back of Floyd's neck as Lane and Kueng helped hold him down.

Key takeaways from Day 8 of the Derek Chauvin trial

  Key takeaways from Day 8 of the Derek Chauvin trial Key takeaways from Day 8 of the Derek Chauvin trial in George Floyd's death Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jody Stiger -- a veteran use-of-force trainer, who is testifying as a paid expert witness for the prosecution -- said his review of video evidence in Floyd's arrested indicated that Chauvin was also using a "pain compliance technique" on Floyd's handcuffed left hand.

a group of people standing in front of a building © Minneapolis Police Dept.

As his face was being pressed against the pavement, Floyd, according to McMillian, called out or his dead mother.

"I feel helpless," said McMillian, who broke down sobbing.

Out to buy snacks

Darnella Frazier, now an 18-year-old high school student, was walking to Cup Foods with her 9-year-old cousin, Judea Reynolds, from their home a few blocks away to buy some snacks. As they approached the store, Frazier ushered her cousin into the store then circled back to investigate something that caught her eye -- police officers holding down a Black man next to a police car.

Frazier said she immediately began recording the incident with her cellphone.

"He was in pain," Frazier said of Floyd. "It seemed like, he knew ... he knew it was over for him. He was terrified. He was suffering. This was a cry for help."

Other witnesses began to gather. Frazier's cousin, Judea, emerged from the store, and as Frazier recorded the event, the little girl, wearing a green shirt with the word Love written on the front of it, stood by her, watching in disbelief.

a group of people sitting at a desk in front of a laptop: Defense attorney Eric Nelson and defendant former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin listen during the trial of Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, April 1, 2021. © Court TV via AP, Pool Defense attorney Eric Nelson and defendant former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin listen during the trial of Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, April 1, 2021.

The youngest witness, so far, called to testify against Chauvin, Judea said, "I was sad and kind of mad cause I felt like he was stopping him from breathing."

Medical witnesses clash with defense over George Floyd's death

  Medical witnesses clash with defense over George Floyd's death Medical personnel from various backgrounds have testified in Derek Chauvin's trial, painting a grave picture of George Floyd's last moments. Paramedics found Floyd had no pulse upon arriving at the scene, and a respiratory expert said even a healthy person would have died under the restraints Chauvin used on Floyd.

Frazier testified that the crowd of bystanders grew larger and that Thao was keeping people at bay as Floyd continued to beg for his life.

MORE: Derek Chauvin trial exposes trauma and survivor's guilt of witnesses to George Floyd's death

She said that after an ambulance arrived, Chauvin still refused to remove his knee from Floyd's neck, even though Floyd no longer appeared to be conscious.

"The paramedic ... he did a motion like 'Get up,' basically telling [Chauvin] to move his knee. His knee was still there, even when they came," she said.

'Blood choke'

Professional MMA fighter Donald Williams II, 33, said he was just going to Cup Foods that day to get a drink and clear his head.

He testified that when he got to the front of the store, Floyd was still pleading for his life under the weight of Chauvin's knee on his neck. He said he immediately recognized the position Chauvin had Floyd in as a "blood choke," a technique he has used in the ring to render an opponent unconscious by cutting the flow of blood to the head.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Donald Williams II testifies at the Derek Chauvin trial, March 29, 2021. © Pool via ABC News Donald Williams II testifies at the Derek Chauvin trial, March 29, 2021.

"His breathing was getting tremendously heavy," Williams said of Floyd. "You actually could hear him, you could see him struggling to actually gasp for air."

Williams testified that at one point, he locked eyes with Chauvin.

"He looked at me. It was the only time he looked at me, when I said it was a blood choke," Williams testified.

MORE: Derek Chauvin trial exposes trauma and survivor's guilt of witnesses to George Floyd's death

Williams said that after Floyd's apparently lifeless body was taken away in an ambulance, he called 911 "because I believed I witnessed a murder."

Key takeaways from 2nd week of Derek Chauvin trial in the death of George Floyd

  Key takeaways from 2nd week of Derek Chauvin trial in the death of George Floyd The second week of Derek Chauvin's high-profile trial wrapped up on Friday with testimony from the medical examiner who conducted George Floyd's autopsy. Officials said the former Minneapolis officer violated police policies in how he arrested and detained the 46-year-old Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

'Wasn't anything I could do'

Alyssa Funari, an 18-year-old 12th grader, testified that she and a friend drove her grandfather's Buick to Cup Foods on May 25 to pick up an auxiliary cable for her phone. But before she could get to the door, she heard the sound of bystanders yelling at police.

She said she could also hear Floyd.

"He said he couldn't breathe and that his stomach hurt and that he wanted his mom," Funari said. "I knew initially that there was something wrong, so I started recording."

"He looked like he was fighting to breathe. At first, he was vocal, and then he got less vocal," she added. "You could see in his face that he was slowly not being able to breathe. His eyes were rolling back and at one point he just kind of sat there, or laid there."

She also began to break down in tears as she said, "It was difficult because I felt like there really wasn't anything I could do as a bystander."

In her testimony, 17-year-old Kaylynn Gilbert, the friend who accompanied Funari to the store, testified that she saw none of the police officers attempt to check to see if Floyd had a pulse or move to get off of him. As she grew more concerned, she joined other bystanders in yelling at the officers.

She described Floyd's condition once paramedics arrived and told the officers to get off of him.

"He looked kinda like purple, like he wasn't getting enough circulation. He was really limp," Gilbert said. "I didn't know for sure if George Floyd was dead until after the fact, but I had a gut feeling."

Walk from a serenity garden

By the time off-duty Minneapolis firefighter Genevieve Hansen, 28, happened upon the scene, she said Floyd was unconscious but Chauvin's knee remained on his neck.

Dressed in civilian clothes, Hansen, on her way back from a serenity garden, said she identified herself to the officers and asked if they'd checked Floyd for a pulse.

a person wearing a suit and tie: Minneapolis firefighter Genevieve Hansen testifies in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, March 30, 2021, in Minneapolis. © Pool via ABC News Minneapolis firefighter Genevieve Hansen testifies in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, March 30, 2021, in Minneapolis.

"I was concerned to see a handcuffed man who was not moving, with officers with their whole body weight on his back and a crowd that was stressed out," Hansen testified.

Instead of being allowed to examine Floyd, she said Thao ordered her to get on the sidewalk and told her, "If you're really a Minneapolis firefighter, you know better than to get involved."

"That's not right -- that's exactly what I should have done," Hansen said. "There was no medical assistance on scene, and I got there and I could have given medical assistance."

Prosecution case nears end in ex-cop's trial in Floyd death .
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd 's death enters its third week Monday, with the state nearing the end of a case built on searing witness accounts, official rejections of the neck restraint and expert testimony attributing Floyd's death to a lack of oxygen. Derek Chauvin, 45, who is white, is charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s May 25 death. Police were called to a neighborhood market where Floyd, who was Black, was accused of trying to pass a counterfeit bill.

usr: 0
This is interesting!