The second session of the trial against Derek Chauvin, the police officer charged with the murder of the African American George Floyd in Minneapolis, has been characterized by the testimonies of different people who witnessed the events. “I witnessed a murder,” one of them assured.
This has been asserted by Donald Williams, whose testimony has opened the second day of the trial in Hennepin County to continue with the testimony that began the previous day.
Williams has pointed out that Chauvin’s scene about Floyd disturbed him, which is why he called 911, a call that defense attorney Eric Nelson has reproduced during his questioning of the witness. In the call, Williams advises that a policeman “was trying to kill a citizen.”
“He felt he was in danger,” Williams said in a controversial interrogation in which he also acknowledged that he insulted the former police officers after the events and in which he assured that Chauvin adjusted his position several times to maintain pressure on the neck of the deceased, reports CNN.
The Minneapolis firefighter Genevieve Hansen, another of the witnesses, has pointed out that Floyd repeatedly asked to have his pulse checked, which the police refused.
“I was desperate to help,” lamented the firefighter, who witnessed the events off duty and, although she tried to help, she could not do so because one of the former policemen denied her access. “He was not moving and he was handcuffed, and three grown men putting all their weight on someone is too much,” she added.
Hansen, who recorded part of Floyd’s arrest and called 911 to report the events, has objected to the questioning of the defense on several occasions during the trial, in which she has come to question Chauvin’s lawyer. “I don’t know if you’ve ever seen someone die in front of you, but he’s very disturbing,” she assured.
Judge Peter Cahill has admonished the witness for this, who will continue with his testimony in this Wednesday’s session.
In the second session, Darnella Frazier, the young woman, a minor, who recorded the video of the events that has gone around the world, has also presented her testimony. “They have been nights in which I stayed awake apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not interacting physically and not saving his life,” she stressed.
“When I look at George Floyd, I look at my father, I look at my brothers, I look at my cousins, my uncles, because they are all black,” he also had an impact, to add that he saw the deceased “terrified, scared, pleading for his life”.
Frazier, visibly moved, has also assured that she felt “in danger” because of Chauvin’s reactions to the shouts of passers-by asking her to stop.
His cousin, Judeah Reynolds, a 9-year-old boy with whom he witnessed the arrest, has testified, for his part, that he felt “sad and a little angry” because “it felt as if (Floyd) was leaving breathe”. “It was like hurting him,” she added.
In addition, on Tuesday, two other students who were at the place where the arrest took place, with a total of six witnesses, presented her testimony in a session in which the fear and horror of the events coincided.
For his part, the defense attorney has criticized that the witnesses turned into a threatening crowd that distracted the officers, trying in this session to make them recognize that they were “angry.”
Chauvin is charged with second degree murder, second degree manslaughter and third degree murder. If the twelve-person jury finds him guilty at trial, Chauvin could face a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, 25 years for third-degree murder and 10 for involuntary manslaughter.
Floyd’s death in detention sparked a wave of protests against police violence and racism across the United States in 2020.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black citizen, died on May 25, 2020 after complaining that he could not breathe due to having Chouvin’s knee on his neck, a sequence that was recorded on video. The police response originated because Floyd made a payment with a counterfeit $ 20 bill.
Chauvin was expelled from the Police Corps shortly thereafter and released on bail after being charged with murder and ill-treatment. Three other agents face charges of complicity in committing the alleged crime. All of them will be tried in August.