The trial for the former Minnesota police officer accused of killing George Floyd by pressing his knee into his neck last May began on Monday and shared a number of shocking revelations.
Ex-cop Derek Chauvin pled not guilty to charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter, The New York Times reports. Prosecutors presented footage showing the final moments of Floyd’s life where Chauvin is accused of unintentionally killing Floyd during the May 25, 2020, arrest. Chauvin’s legal team is preparing to use the defense that Floyd’s death was caused by his alleged drug use and other pre-existing medical issues, WRCB TV reports. Additionally, defense attorneys argue that Chauvin was following proper police protocol during the fatal arrest.
From the Monday proceedings, four standout revelations were made that reignited the anger many felt in May 2020. Here are four alarming takeaways from the first day of Chauvin’s trial.
Two different times were reported surrounding how long Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck.
Surprisingly enough, in the days and months following Floyd’s fatal arrest, reports first claimed that Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. However, police bodycam footage released last August revealed Chauvin had his knee on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. Prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell told jurors that the time included the “three most important numbers in this case,” CNN reports.
A police dispatcher thought the footage was frozen after seeing George Floyd on the ground for so long.
Police dispatcher Jena Lee Scurry took the stand and testified that she thought “something was wrong” when she watched footage from a stationary police camera showing Floyd’s arrest. “It had not changed. They were still on the ground …. it was long enough, long enough that I could look back multiple times,” Scurry said, NBC reports. “I first asked if the screens had frozen because it hadn’t changed.” After calling Chauvin’s supervising sergeant to express concern, her call reveals how she felt like a “snitch” as a result.
An EMT worker said Chauvin threatened her with mace while refusing to let her check Floyd’s vitals.
The trial’s opening argument included testimony from a witness who was also an EMT worker and tried to administer aid to Floyd. The EMT claims as she approached, Chauvin pointed his mace at her and prevented her from helping, MSNBC legal analyst Joyce Alene tweeted on Monday. “Chauvin does not let up & he does not get up,” Alene said the prosecutors claimed.
Multiple witnesses recall calling “the police on the police.”
A number of witnesses, including a 911 operator, all reported that they “called the police on the police,” according to PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor.
If found guilty, Chauvin faces 75 years in prison.