April 17, 2021

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Teenage witness recounts George Floyd’s arrest and death in tearful testimony during Chauvin trial

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Several more witnesses took the stand on Tuesday, the second day of the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, including Darnella Frazier, the then-17-year-old who recorded video of George Floyd’s arrest last May.

Judge Peter Cahill ruled that Frazier and three other young witnesses, including Frazier’s 9-year-old cousin, could deliver their testimony off-camera, so they were not seen while being questioned, but Frazier can be heard recounting what happened. She notes she walked her cousin into Cup Foods (the store in front of which Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck while he was pinned to the ground) to spare her from watching the disturbing scene that was unfolding. She added that she then walked back to the scene and began filming, which police camera footage shows, as well.

Frazier told the prosecution she went back because what was happening “wasn’t right.” Floyd was “suffering, he was in pain,” she said, explaining that she heard him say he couldn’t breathe and call for his mother. “It seemed like he knew it was over for him,” she said.

Later in her testimony, Frazier provided some details about how the event personally affected her. She said when she looks at Floyd, she thinks of her father, her brother, her cousins, and uncles, who, like Floyd, are Black men. “That could have been one of them,” she said. There have been nights, she said, where she’s “stayed up apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not … saving his life,” though she said she realizes “it’s not what I should have done, it’s what he should have done” seemingly referring to Chauvin. Read more at The New York Times. Tim O’Donnell

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