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Witness says he didn't feel safe continuing to work at store after Floyd's death

Witness says he didn't feel safe continuing to work at store after Floyd's death
© getty

A witness in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin said during testimony on Wednesday that he did not feel safe working at the nearby convenience store after witnessing the killing of George Floyd.

Christopher Martin, 19, was a cashier at Cup Foods when Floyd was killed on May 25. He had sold Floyd the cigarettes that Floyd was accused of buying with counterfeit money, which led to the police being called. Floyd later died outside the store after police arrested him, and Chauvin pinned him to the street by putting his knee on Floyd's neck.

Minnesota Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank asked Martin if he had continued to work at Cup Foods after May 25, to which Martin replied he had not.

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"I didn't feel safe," Martin said.

Martin lived in an apartment above Cup Foods with his family and had worked at the store for a few months before Floyd's death.

During his testimony, Martin said he had spoken with Floyd when he came into the store, asking him if he had played baseball, noting Floyd’s size. Due to Floyd's somewhat delayed responses in their conversation, Martin said, he thought Floyd was under the influence of a substance.

Martin said he thought the bill that Floyd handed him was counterfeit due to the blue pigment of the cash. According to Martin, the store's policy made counterfeit money the responsibility of the cashier if they accepted it and the amount would be taken out of their paycheck.

However, Martin said under questioning from Chauvin's defense attorney that he did not think Floyd was aware that the bill was counterfeit, speculating that another individual who had come in before Floyd was "trying to scheme" with the fake cash. Martin said the other person had attempted to use the counterfeit money earlier, but he had rejected it.

Martin said he told his manager that the $20 could be docked from his pay, but his manager decided to call the police on Floyd instead.

When asked what he felt immediately after Floyd's death, Martin said he felt disbelief and guilt for having taken the $20 bill from Floyd.

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