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9-year-old witness says medics asked Chauvin to get off of Floyd

A 9-year-old witness who testified Tuesday in the trial of Derek Chauvin said the former Minneapolis police officer initially ignored requests by medics to remove his knee from George Floyd’s neck in the moments leading up to Floyd’s death in May. 

The young witness, one of several minors not publicly identified in the courtroom, said she saw firsthand when Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. 

She said she had gone to buy snacks at a nearby store with her cousin, 18-year-old Darnella Frazier, who testified immediately before the 9-year-old Tuesday. 

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The younger girl said that when she walked out of the store, she “saw an officer put his knee on the neck of George Floyd.” 

When asked if she saw the officer in the courtroom, the young witness initially said, “No,” not recognizing Chauvin behind his face mask. She changed her answer moments later when the former officer stood up and removed his face covering. 

The girl told prosecutor Jerry Blackwell that when emergency medics arrived at the scene and saw Chauvin with his knee pressed into Floyd’s neck, “They asked him nicely to get off of him,” but Chauvin “still stayed on him.” 

Medics then told Chauvin again to remove himself from Floyd before he eventually did so, the girl testified.  

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When asked by Blackwell how witnessing the incident made her feel, the 9-year-old said, “I was sad and kind of mad.”

“It felt like he was stopping his breathing and it was kind of hurting him,” she added. 

The young girl was the last of four witnesses called to the stand before the court adjourned for lunch Tuesday, the second full day of Chauvin’s trial. 

The former Minneapolis police officer faces three criminal counts in connection with Floyd’s death: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Frazier, who was a minor when the fatal incident occurred and was not shown publicly while testifying Tuesday, said before her young cousin took the stand that Floyd’s May 25 death changed her life. 

Frazier captured the now-viral footage of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck and on Tuesday appeared emotional while answering questions. 

“When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad, I look at my brothers, I look at my cousins, my uncles because they are all Black. I have a Black father. I have a Black brother. I have Black friends. And I look at that, and I look at how that could have been one of them,” Frazier said. 

“It's been nights I stayed up apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life, but it’s not what I should have done. It's what he should have done,” Frazier continued, referring to Chauvin.