Story at a glance

  • Chauvin is facing multiple charges in connection to the May 25 death of Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody after Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
  • So far, jurors have heard from witnesses including a firefighter, a 911 dispatcher, a cashier working across the street, a mixed martial arts fighter and a teen who recorded the video that went viral last year.
  • On Wednesday, witness Charles McMillian, 61, became emotional after prosecutors played video of officers attempting to place Floyd into the back of a police car before forcing him to the ground.

Over the last three days, jurors in the murder trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin have heard testimony from 11 witnesses who have recounted the death of George Floyd. 

Chauvin is facing multiple charges in connection to the May 25 death of Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody, including second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The former officer was caught on camera with his knee pinned against Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd cried out he could not breathe. 


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So far, jurors have heard from witnesses including a firefighter, a 911 dispatcher, a cashier working across the street, a mixed martial arts fighter and a teen who recorded the video that went viral last year, as well as her 9-year-old cousin. Many of the witnesses have described feeling helpless or guilty as they watched the arrest of Floyd. 

On Wednesday, witness Charles McMillian, 61, became emotional after prosecutors played video of officers attempting to place Floyd into the back of a police car before forcing him to the ground. Floyd can be heard shouting “I can’t breathe” and calling out for his mother, who passed away several years prior. 

The witness began to cry and was unable to speak for a few moments after the video ended, prompting the court to take a 10-minute break. 

“I feel helpless. I don’t have a mama either. I understand him. My mom died June 25th,” McMillian said. 

McMillan said he had been driving past the Cup Foods store where the encounter between Floyd and Chauvin occurred and stopped because he was “nosy.” He spoke to Floyd during the incident, urging him to comply with police. 

McMillian also testified that he interacted with Chauvin in the same neighborhood five days before the incident and offered him advice. 

“I told him, like I tell all, ‘Officer, at the end of the day, you go home to your family safe and let the next person go home to their family safe,’” McMillian said. 

The cashier from the Cup Foods market who took the counterfeit $20 bill from Floyd just before the incident also testified, saying he later felt guilty about flagging the fake bill. He told Chauvin’s defense attorney he did not think Floyd was aware the bill was counterfeit.  

“If I had not taken the bill, this could’ve been avoided,” Martin said

Chauvin’s trial is expected to go through most of April. Three other officers involved in Floyd’s arrest and death will stand trial separately later this year on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. 


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Published on Mar 31, 2021