George Floyd news – live: Witness says Derek Chauvin used ‘blood choke’ as Floyd ‘pleaded for his life’

Derek Chauvin trial witness says he heard George Floyd ‘pleading for his life’.mp4

The first day of Derek Chauvin’s trial over the death of George Floyd has come to an end, with the former Minneapolis police officer’s defence saying that the use of force is “not attractive” but is a necessary part of policing.

After opening statements, the court heard from three witnesses starting with 911 dispatcher Jena Scurry. Ms Scurry said she called a police supervisor to report “something was wrong” after seeing live video of the arrest.

The second witness, Alisha Oyler, who works at a Speedway gas station across from the arrest site outside Cup Foods, told the court she saw police “messing with someone” when she began taking cell phone footage.

The third and final witness of day one was bystander Donald Wynn Williams, a professional mixed-martial arts fighter who provided commentary on Mr Chauvin’s use of a “shimmy” maneuver while kneeling on the neck of Mr Floyd.

“His eyes slowly rolled to the back of his head. You see the blood coming out of his nose. You heard him tell them before he stopped speaking ‘my stomach hurts’,” Mr Williams said.

“From there on, he was lifeless, he didn’t move, he didn’t speak. He didn’t have no life in him no more on his body movements.”

Mr Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to three charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter. The murder charges could carry 40 and 25-year sentences, respectively.

The White House said that Joe Biden is closely watching the trial and receiving updates on proceedings, but wouldn’t be commenting directly while it goes through the legal process.

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Who are the leading prosecution and defence attorneys in Derek Chauvin trial?

The high-profile case is being led by the state’s attorney general Keith Ellison. Aformer congressman, Mr Ellison is the first African American and first Muslim to hold the office of attorney general in the state. Heading up the prosecution is the head of Minnesota’s criminal division, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank.

Defence lawyer Eric Nelson is a managing partner at Halberg Criminal Defense, and has been doing Association cases since 2015. Mr Chauvin’s defence team is being paid for by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, as although he and three other offices were fired after Mr Floyd’s death, the Minneapolis Police Department still has membership.

Graeme Massie reports on the key players.

Justin Vallejo29 March 2021 23:45

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Watch: 911 dispatcher says instincts told her ‘something was wrong’ during George Floyd arrest

“My instincts were telling me something is wrong, something is not right. I don’t know what, but something was not right… It was an extended period of time.”

911 dispatcher says instincts told her ‘something was wrong’ during George Floyd arrest

Jena Scurry, a 911 dispatcher in Minneapolis, was the first witness to take the stand on Monday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd.

Justin Vallejo29 March 2021 23:20

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Day 1 of Derek Chauvin trial comes to a close

The first day ended with the witness testimony of Donald Wynn Williams, a mixed-martial arts fighter who described how Derek Chauvin used a “shimmy” on the neck of George Floyd.

Mr Williams told the court the move is used to cut off airflow, and described how Mr Chauvin used the technique multiple times in video of Mr Floyd’s arrest.

“You can see his foot, his toe is pointing down,” Mr Williams said. “And that’s the pressure, to push more down, between his knee, George’s head and the concrete and cut off circulation.”

Mr Williams, the third witness, will return when the trial resumes on Tuesday.

Justin Vallejo29 March 2021 22:57

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‘He was the dictator’, witness says of ex-officer Tao

Witness Donald Wynn Williams said former officer Thao Tao “was the dictator” as he spoke to onlookers during the arrest of George Floyd.

“He was the dictator. He dictated what went on the curb. He controlled the people. He controlled me. He was the guy that let it go on,” Mr Williams said.

Justin Vallejo29 March 2021 22:15

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George Floyd was pleading with police before life went out of him, says witness

Donald Williams told the court that George Floyd was repeatedly pleading with police that he was in distress.

“He was speaking in a distressed way,” Mr Williams said. “He was vocalizing to the officer, he said my stomach hurt, I can’t breathe, my head hurts, I want my mum. Those are the things he repeatedly said.”

As time progressed, Mr Williams said Mr Floyd was slowly fading away the longer a knee was on his neck.

“His eyes slowly rolled to the back of his head. You see the blood coming out of his nose. You heard him tell them before he stopped speaking ‘my stomach hurts’,” Mr Williams said.

“From there on, he was lifeless, he didn’t move, he didn’t speak. He didn’t have no life in him no more on his body movements.”

Justin Vallejo29 March 2021 22:14

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Donald Williams says “my energy stopped me” to explain why he stopped outside the store where George Floyd was killed

The prosecution’s third witness, Donald Williams, a professional mixed martial-arts fighter and security worker, said “my energy stopped me” from entering the Cup Foods store, near the spot where George Floyd was killed.

When Mr Williams arrived, police had already arrived at the scene to respond to a call that Mr Floyd allegedly had been passing counterfeit bills.

He did not enter the store because he went to see what was happening with the police, who had Mr Floyd pinned down on the ground at the time.

He said he heard “different people vocalising their concerns to the officer” and heard Mr Floyd “pleading for his life.”

Graig Graziosi29 March 2021 22:04

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Derek Chauvin’s defense claims: “There are always two sides to a story”

Eric Nelson, Derek Chauvin’s defense attorney, told jurors that “there are always two sides to a story” in his opening remarks.

Watch below.

Derek Chauvin defence claims: ‘There are always two sides to a story’

Graig Graziosi29 March 2021 21:46

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Prosecution calls third witness, Donald Williams, a bystander who witnessed Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd

The prosecution at the trial of Derek Chauvin called its third witness, Donald Wynn Williams, to testify for the jury.

Mr Williams is a professional fighter and business owner who witnessed the encounter between George Floyd and Mr Chauvin. He said he previously worked private security, which included working as a bouncer and escorting athletes and comedians.

Mr Williams was one of the bystanders yelling at police to get off of Mr Floyd’s neck while he was being restrained, and has worked alongside the Minneapolis Police Department during some of his private security jobs.

Graig Graziosi29 March 2021 21:43

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Derek Chauvin trial resumes after a short recess

The trial of Derek Chauvin resumed after a short recess as Mr Chauvin’s defense team began its cross-examination of Alisha Oyler, a gas station worker at a Speedway across the street from where George Floyd was killed.

Ms Oyler recorded several videos of the event on her phone, which were entered as evidence by the prosecution.

Graig Graziosi29 March 2021 21:28

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Prosecution’s video shows limp George Floyd being loaded onto a stretcher

The prosecution’s second witness, Alisha Oyler, a gas station worker at the Speedway across the street from where George Floyd was killed, watched video she shot the day George Floyd was killed was played alongside security footage from a surveillance camera.

In the footage, Mr Floyd’s limp body can be seen being placed onto a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance.

After the ambulance pulled away, she said she saw a lot of bystanders “yelling and fighting” with police officers.

She said she recalled seeing crime scene tape around the site, and the prosecution played a video she shot once she left work showing the scene of the encounter.

In the video, the area where Mr Floyd was killed can be seen blocked off by crime scene tape. She said police contacted her after the event to take a statement from her.

Graig Graziosi29 March 2021 21:08

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