Prosecutors have continued making their case against Derek Chauvin, revealing their opening statement on Monday and holding several testimonies on Tuesday.
Derek Chauvin, who had worked at the Minneapolis Police Department for 18 years, was charged with murder of the second and third degree, and second degree manslaughter for kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for about 9 minutes, resulting in his death. Tuesday afternoon, Minneapolis firefighter Genevieve Hansen testified that she was desperate to help Floyd, but the officers wouldn’t let her. “There’s a man being killed, and had I had access to a call similar to that, I would have been able to provide medical attention to the best of my ability, and this human was denied that right,” said Hansen, who is also an emergency medical technician.”
Earlier in the day, the teen who filmed the video of the incident testified as well. There is no video recording of the testimony because of her age. The teen, Darnella Frazier, described Floyd’s suffering and became emotional. “This was a cry for help, definitely,” she said. Another teen witness who also recorded the situation said that Floyd was “fighting to breathe” and that “time was running out, or that it had already.” Earlier, the jury heard from Donald Williams II, a bystander that is trained in mixed martial arts, who repeatedly yelled for Chauvin to relieve pressure on Floyd’s neck.
There was a dispute in opening statements on Monday about how Floyd died. Prosecutors played the video of Floyd being held down, saying Chauvin was using lethal force against a “defenseless” and handcuffed man for nine minutes and 29 seconds. Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell said Floyd died of oxygen deprivation beneath the pressure of Chauvin’s knee. The defense responded by saying George Floyd died of a heart arrhythmia complicated by the fentanyl and methamphetamine he had consumed in large doses before his arrest. Floyd’s murder has led to many protests, riots, and the mass support of criminal justice reform. Reform including banning the kind of hold that Chauvin put Floyd in that caused him to die, banning no knock raids, and ending qualified immunity.
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ARTICLE: JACOB ZUBY
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: MOTHER JONES