The 18-year-old who took the viral video of George Floyd’s death on Tuesday told the US trial of the white policeman accused of killing the 46-year-old black man she knew at the time “this n ‘was not fair’. .
Darnella Frazier was among the witnesses who gave moving testimony during the trial of former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin.
Frazier, who said she suffered from social anxiety and refused virtually all interview requests in the 10 months after Floyd’s death, said the sight of him in the field had forced her to stay : “It wasn’t fair. He suffered. He suffered.
Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter for his role in Floyd’s death on May 25 last year, after he and three other police officers arrested and handcuffed Floyd on suspicion of using a fake $ 20 bill to buy cigarettes at a nearby store.
Frazier, who grew up in the neighborhood, arrived a few minutes later and filmed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe in a video that was seen by millions of people around the world and sparked major protests against racism. and police brutality against blacks across the United States. Demonstrations against racism have also taken place around the world.
Other witnesses included an off-duty firefighter who said his attempts to assist Floyd were rejected by police, a man who made an emergency call to 911 after the incident to report a “murder” and a professional mixed martial arts fighter who told court he believed he “witnessed a murder”.
Frazier cried when prosecutors showed him an image from his video, a moment where Chauvin, his knee on Floyd’s neck, appears to be looking straight into his lens.
“He had that cold, heartless gaze,” Frazier said, as Chauvin listened at a nearby table, taking notes in a yellow legal pad. “He didn’t care what we said, it didn’t change what he was doing.
Frazier described Floyd as “scared” and “terrified” and “begging for his life.”
“It wasn’t fair. He suffered. He was in pain, ”she said. “I knew it was wrong. We all knew it was wrong.
‘Witnessed a murder’
Genevieve Hansen, 27, a firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT) from Minneapolis who was off duty and was walking around the day Floyd was arrested.
Hansen said she identified herself as a firefighter to police at the scene because she “noticed he needed medical attention.”
“He wasn’t moving and he was handcuffed,” she said.
Hansen, who testified wearing her white firefighter uniform with a black tie, said a police officer rejected her offers of help, leaving her “totally in distress”.
“I was in desperate need of help and I couldn’t access it,” she said. “I don’t know if you’ve seen someone get killed, but it’s heartbreaking.
Another witness said he called 911 after an unconscious Floyd was taken in an ambulance.
“I thought I witnessed a murder,” Donald Williams, 33, a mixed martial arts instructor, told court. “I didn’t know what else to do.”
Williams said Floyd was already in “danger” when he arrived at the scene.
“You could see he was trying to breathe air, trying to breathe,” he said. “You could see his eyes slowly rolling around his head.
Williams said Floyd was being held by Chauvin in a “blood stranglehold” used in wrestling or martial arts.
Parts of his recorded 911 call were played in court.
“He just went and killed this guy,” Williams said on the call. “Murderers, bro … they just killed this man in front of the store.”
Asked who he was referring to, Williams replied “the officer sitting over there” and pointed to Chauvin.
‘Trained to do’
When questioned by Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson, Williams admitted that he called Chauvin and the names of officers at the scene.
“You called him a badass,” Nelson said. “You called him a ‘tramp’ 13 times.”
“They weren’t listening to anything I was telling them,” Williams said. “I had to speak for Floyd.”
Video of Floyd’s death has been shown multiple times for the jury of nine women and five men during Chauvin’s trial, which began this week.
Prosecutors seek to show that Chauvin had no justification for using an unsafe seat belt on a compliant Floyd.
Chauvin’s attorney claimed in oral argument that Floyd’s death was caused by a combination of illegal drugs and a medical condition rather than asphyxiation.
They also claimed that Chauvin was distracted from “caring” for Floyd by angry onlookers.
Prosecutors asked Frazier if she heard passers-by threatening police. She said no.
“Would you describe yourself as an unruly crowd?” Jerry Blackwell, a prosecutor, asked.
Frazier said the only person she had seen violent was Chauvin.
Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the police, 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.
Three other former police officers involved in the arrest – Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng – will stand trial separately later this year.