The teenager who filmed George Floyd’s death has spoken out in court, as the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin’s goes ahead in Minneapolis.
And her account of what happened is chilling…
She talked about how his death has affected her life.
And her words show just how strongly the U.S has been impacted by Chauvin’s actions.
Scroll on for her full testimony…
Now, the world changed forever on May 25th, 2020 when George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was ruthlessly killed by police officers…
And it caused global outrage.
Floyd tragically died after a police officer pinned him on the ground and knelt on his neck for almost 9 minutes.
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.
In the days following the incident, there was an overwhelming demand for the 4 police officers involved to face criminal charges for their actions.
Their names were Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng, and Tou Thao.
Well, 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.
Floyd’s family still have to live and deal with the devastating loss.
Something that will never get easier.
And now, less than a year after Floyd’s death, Derek Chauvin’s murder trial has finally begun…
And 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 on Wednesday.
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.”
Well, Chauvin’s trial kicked off on Monday in Minneapolis…
And what happened outside of the courtroom was truly touching.
Floyd’s brother took a knee in front of Hennepin County Courthouse for 8 minutes and 46 seconds – the length of time Chauvin knelt on his brother’s neck.
Reverend Al Sharpton, Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump, Floyd’s nephew Brandon Williams and other supporters joined the brother, Philonise Floyd, in his silent act of protest.
It was a moment of both solidarity and protest…
And for everyone who was there, the raw emotion in the air was undeniable.
And as for what happened in the courtroom?
According to the Daily Mail, the prosecution started on Monday 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.”
Trial attorney Jerry Blackwell told the jury in his opening statement, where he argued that Chauvin “betrayed the badge” when he crushed the life out of Floyd:
“You can believe your eyes. That it’s homicide, it’s murder.”
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.
Now, the teenager who filmed the harrowing footage of Floyd’s death has testified in court…
And her recount of the events that took place that day are truly distubing.
Eighteen-year-old Darnella Frazier began her testimony by describing what it was like to witness “a white man pinning a Black man to the ground”…
And her emotions were clearly running high, according to the Star Tribune.
“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. I look at that and how it could have been one of them,” she said.
She added that there have been nights since then when “I’ve stayed up apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life.”
“It’s not what I should have done, it’s what [Chauvin] should have done.”
Many of the jurors had visibly sympathetic expressions when Frazier spoke about apologizing to Floyd…
And Frazier wept at times, allowing her tears to flow without wiping away.
She also said: “He just stared at us, looked at us. He had like this cold look, heartless. He didn’t care. It seemed as if he didn’t care what we were saying.”
When asked about the initial incident, the young woman said she was walking with her 9-year-old cousin to the Cup Foods and soon saw Floyd and the police presence.
She sent her cousin into the store because she did not want her to see “a man terrified, scared, begging for his life.” She then stood closer to where Chauvin had Floyd pinned which is when she took out her cellphone and recorded Chauvin on Floyd’s neck as another officer kept watch a growing crowd of increasingly angry bystanders.
Asked what she witnessed as she panned her phone onto Floyd and Chauvin, Frazier replied:
“I heard George Floyd say, ‘I can’t breathe. Please get off me’… He cried for his mom… It seemed like he knew it was over for him. He was suffering.” She told the court she had started filming because “it wasn’t right – he was suffering, he was in pain.”
Special Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell then reportedly showed Frazier a still image of Chauvin from her video as he knelt on Floyd’s neck and asked whether she recognized him…
“Yes, this was the officer that was kneeling on George Floyd’s neck.”
You can watch the heartbreaking clip below…
Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.