Apology, sobbing and desperation from witnesses was what people saw the world over on the second day of the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin whose use of undue force claimed the life of a black man, George Floyd.
Teenager Darnella Frazier, now 18, whose film of Floyd’s death sparked global protests told the court she “stays up apologising” to him for “not doing more”.
Darnella was one of four young witnesses who to take the stand on the second day of trial that is being televised live.
She told the court of seeing Floyd “begging for his life,” comparing him to her dad, brother, cousins and uncles “because they are all black”.
Darnella, then 17, was walking to the Cup Foods shop with her nine-year-old cousin when she police arresting Floyd.
She told the court she started filming on her phone because “I saw a man terrified, begging for his life. It wasn’t right – he was in pain.”
She heard Floyd “saying ‘I can’t breathe’. He was terrified, he was calling for his mom.”
Darnella said witnessing his death had changed her life.
“When I look at George Floyd I look at my dad, I look at my brother, my cousins, my uncles – because they are all black,” she said while crying. “And I look at how that could have been one of them.”
“I stay up apologising to George Floyd for not doing more.”
Her young cousin told the court that she felt “sad and kind of mad” by what she saw. “It sounded like he was hurting”.
Two friends, Alissa, 18, and Kalen, 17, had driven up to the store when they came across the arrest. Both described feeling helpless as they watched Mr Floyd’s last moments before “he was just lying there, no longer fighting or resisting”.
The last witness of the day was Genevieve Hansen, an off-duty firefighter, who said the officers prevented her from administering medical help that would have saved Mr Floyd’s life.
“I tried calm reasoning, I tried to be assertive, I pled and was desperate,” she testified. “I was desperate to give help.”
She, too, called 911 afterward to report what police had done. Her call was the third such report; In addition to Williams, a Minneapolis 911 dispatcher who saw the arrest on a live video feed testified Monday that she alerted a police sergeant.
On May 25, 2020, former police officer Derek Chauvin and three others were dispatched to arrest George Floyd who allegedly tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill. Chauvin knelt on the back and neck of Floyd for 9:29 minutes resulting in his death. The incident sparked protests in the US and across the world against police brutality and racism.
The three officers – Tou Thao, J Alexander Keung and Thomas Lane – will go on trial later in the year.