Derek Chauvin trial enters fourth day after jurors shown video of George Floyd’s cries of ‘I can’t breathe’
Jurors will enter day four in the trial of police officer Derek Chauvin having been shown video of George Floyd pleading nearly 30 times that he could not breathe and calling for his mother in the minutes before his death.
Mr Chauvin is charged with two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter over the death of Mr Floyd, the unarmed black man whose killing triggered a wave of racial equality protests around the world.
Police video played in court on day three of the trial on Wednesday revealed that after the ambulance took Mr Floyd away, the Minneapolis officer who had pinned his knee to the victim’s neck defended himself to a bystander by saying the 46-year-old was “a sizable guy” and “probably on something”.
The day ended with the jury watching videos of Floyd’s arrest and death repeatedly for more than an hour, each captured from a slightly different angle by the body-cameras worn by the responding officers.
Footage and witness testimony showed how Mr Floyd’s alleged attempt to pass a fake $20 note at a shop last May escalated to the point that the officer knelt on his neck for 9 minutes, 29 seconds, as he lay face-down in handcuffs.
The most serious charge against the now-fired white officer carries up to 40 years in prison.
Jurors were shown police body camera video of the approximately 20 minutes between when police approached Mr Floyd’s vehicle and when he was loaded into the ambulance.
When Officer Thomas Lane confronted Mr Floyd in his car, drew his gun and demanded that he show his hands, Mr Floyd replied: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” “I got shot before” and “Please don’t shoot me, man”.
When told to get into the police car, Mr Floyd shouted “I’m not that kind a guy!” and “I’m claustrophobic!”
As officers shoved his upper body and then his legs into the car, he writhed and screamed, “Please! Please! I can’t breathe!”
At one point, Mr Floyd threw his upper body out of the car, and officers tried to push him back in.
Officers pulled him out of the vehicle and brought him to the ground where, with the knee of Mr Chauvin, 45, on his neck, another officer’s knee on his back and a third man holding his legs, the officers talked calmly about whether he might be on drugs.
The defense argued that Mr Chauvin did what he was trained to do and that Mr Floyd’s death was not caused by the officer’s knee, as prosecutors contend, but by Mr Floyd’s illegal drug use, heart disease, high blood pressure and the adrenaline flowing through his body.
The trial, which is expected to last one month, continues on Thursday from 9.15am local time (10.15am EST, 3.15pm BST).
Additional reporting by agencies
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