At the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin yesterday, a 911 dispatcher who witnessed George Floyd’s murder took the stand to give groundbreaking evidence against the disgraced officer.
Scroll on to hear her testimony for yourself…
Now, the world was forever changed on May 25th, 2020, when George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed by police officers.
Footage of his horrifying death spread like wildfire online, and triggered an overwhelming level of global outrage.
The forty-six-year-old father was arrested and forced to the ground in Minneapolis…
Where former police officer, Derek Chauvin, proceeded to kneel on his neck, while 3 other officers knelt on his back.
After nearly ten minutes, Floyd was completely unresponsive. An ambulance arrived and took the unconscious man to the hospital but, devastatingly, he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Floyd died unlawfully at the hands of these officers…
And the independent autopsy confirmed that he had passed away as a result of “asphyxiation from sustained pressure.”
This pressure had cut off blood flow to his brain, the autopsy concluded.
But Floyd’s death sparked an outrage like never before.
And began marching for one thing: For the end of blatant racism and injustice in this country.
And still, to this very day, justice is being demanded not only for George Floyd, but also for so many other Black people who have died at the hands of racism and law enforcement.
But in the days following the inital incident…
There was an overwhelming demand for the 4 police officers involved – Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng, and Tou Thao – to face criminal charges for their actions.
The day after Floyd’s death, it was announced that all 4 officers had been fired…
And after an overwhelming surge of anger and protest, the officers were arrested just days later.
Derek Chauvin, the man who had knelt on George’s neck, was arrested and charged with murder in the third degree and manslaughter.
His bond was set at $50,000 before he faced an upgraded charge of second-degree murder, according to Minnesota Senator, Amy Klobuchar.
And now, less than a year after Floyd’s death, Derek Chauvin is finally facing trial.
His charge for third-degree murder has been reinstated, which comes after a Court of Appeals ruling asked Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill to reconsider restoring the charge based on its precedent in a separate case.
Earlier this month, Cahill said he had to reinstate the charge because he was “bound” by the Court of Appeals ruling.
Chauvin had tried to appeal to block the charge from being reinstated, however, the appeal was blocked by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
The additional charges now mean that prosecutors have another route to convict him.
Speaking to Buzzfeed, Ted Sampsell-Jones, a Mitchell Hamline School of Law professor said:
“For example, if the jurors were divided about second-degree murder, they could settle on third-degree murder as a compromise.”
If convicted of the most serious count, Chauvin could face up to forty years in prison…
But if he’s found guilty of manslaughter, he faces a maximum penalty of ten years; though he could be free within 5.
Well, Chauvin’s trial kicked off yesterday in Minneapolis at the Hennepin County Courthouse.
According to the Daily Mail, the prosecution started by playing the horrifying video of the moment the former cop dug his knee into Floyd’s neck as he cried out, “I can’t breathe.”
Special prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told the jury in his opening statement:
“You can believe your eyes. That it’s homicide, it’s murder.”
But the one aspect of the day that everyone is talking about is the 911 operator who took the stand to give evidence.
“You’re going to learn that there was a 911 dispatcher. Her name is Jena Scurry,” Blackwell told the jury. “There was a fixed police camera that was trained on this particular scene. She could see through the camera what was going on.”
Scurry witnessed the entire ordeal…
And was the one to call the police on the police.
Fearing that Chauvin and the 3 other officers who stood by were taking things too far, Scurry called Minneapolis Sgt. David Pleoger, who oversaw the officers involved in the arrest in progress.
“You will learn that what she saw was so unusual and, for her, so disturbing that she did something that she had never done in her career.”
As prosecutors played the police camera video of Floyd on the ground, Scurry explained:
“My instincts were telling me something was wrong. It was a gut instinct of the incident: Something is not going right. Whether it be they needed more assistance. Just something wasn’t right.”
Scurry couldn’t remember exactly when she made the call, but she said she became uncomfortable after an “extended period of time.”
The defense pointed out that it took awhile for Scurry to call Chauvin’s sergeant – almost thirty minutes from when she first received the 911 call about Floyd – and that she seemed concerned about the police vehicle “rocking bath and forth” when Floyd was inside.
Scurry was one of at least 3 people who called for police intervention as she watched Chauvin kneel on Floyd’s neck.
The trial continues.
Make sure to stay posted for further updates.