Floyd ‘cried for help’ during fatal arrest

 

The teenage girl whose filming of George Floyd's death brought the case to worldwide attention has described in harrowing detail how he lost consciousness beneath the knee of a police officer.

Speaking on day two of Derek Chauvin's murder trial, Darnella Frazier said that not only did the Minneapolis officer ignore Floyd's 27 cries that he couldn't breathe but appeared to tighten his hold on the restrained man.

"If anything he was actually kneeling harder. It looked like he was shoving his knee in his neck," said Ms Frazier, 18.

In a sombre voice, she said she started filming the arrest because she was frightened for Floyd and that "it wasn't right".

"He was suffering, he was in pain," she said.

"I heard George Floyd saying I can't breathe, please get off of me. He cried for his mum.

"It seemed like he knew it was over for him. He was terrified, he was suffering.

"This was a cry for help."

She also said she was frightened during the encounter when Chauvin and his three colleagues appeared ready to use mace on the bystanders watching them take down Floyd.

"I didn't understand why the mace was even needed at all," she said, adding that the "only violence" was coming from the police.

Earlier, Donald Williams II returned to the stand in Hennepin County District Court to continue evidence that had ended quickly on Monday afternoon after the video feed of the hearing cut out.

A mixed marital arts fighter, Mr Williams was one of several bystanders caught on Ms Frazier's video urging Chauvin and the other three officers to get off Floyd.

He told the court Chauvin, 45, appeared to be using a "blood choke" hold, that in his MMA experience would cut off oxygen and blood supply.

Mr Williams explained that he called 911 to report the arrest after Floyd's lifeless body was taken away in an ambulance.

"He didn't move, he didn't speak, he didn't have no life in him no more [in] his body movements," Mr Williams said.

"I felt the need to call the police on the police. I believe I witnessed a murder."

Mr Williams cried in court as the 911 call was played to the jury.

 

Derek Chauvin (right) is on trial for the murder of George Floyd. Picture: Facebook
Derek Chauvin (right) is on trial for the murder of George Floyd. Picture: Facebook

 

"He just pretty much killed this guy. He wasn't resisting arrest," he told the operator.

"He had his knee on his neck. He wasn't resisting arrest or nothing, he was handcuffed."

Chauvin faces 40 years in prison if convicted of second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter

Third degree murder carries a maximum 25 year sentence and is the same charge that sent Minneapolis officer Mohamed Noor to prison for 12 and half years over the July 2017 killing of former Sydney life coach Justine Damond Ruszczyk.

Chauvin and the other three arresting officers were sacked by the Minneapolis Police Department after Floyd's death.

The Floyd family received a record AUD $35 million (US$27 million) compensation payout from Minneapolis earlier this month to settle their civil claim, which eclipsed the AUD $26.3 million ($US20 million) paid to Ms Damond Ruszczyk's family.

Chauvin has pleaded not guilty and his defence has argued that he and his colleagues were trying to arrest a much larger, drug-fuelled man who in a "high crime area".

Chauvin "did exactly what he was trained to do over the course of his 19-year career", his lawyer Eric Nelson said.

"The use of force is not attractive but is necessary."

The video captured by Frazier was viewed by millions and sparked an ongoing racial reckoning and riots that spread across America.

Chauvin, a white officer, was one of four police who arrested Floyd for trying to pass a fake $20 note at a grocery store in Minneapolis.

When Floyd resisted arrest, Chauvin wrestled with him before pinning him beneath his knee in a choke hold.

Prosecutors say Chauvin's use of force was excessive and that he deliberately killed Floyd.

 

 

 

Originally published as Floyd 'cried for help' during fatal arrest


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