A teenager, whose movie of George Floyd’s death caused a worldwide protest, said she “continues to apologize” to him for “no more.”
Darnera, then 17, was one of four young witnesses who gave a fascinating explanation on the second day of Derek Chauvin’s trial.
In emotional testimony, she compared Mr. Floyd with her dad, brother, cousin, and uncle, “because they are all black.”
The case brought the issue of racial equality and police to the fore.
In the opening session of the trial on Monday, I heard former police officer Chauvin kneel on Floyd’s neck while arresting Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020.
Defense lawyers have suggested that 46-year-old Floyd allegedly died from an overdose. Chauvin, 45, has denied charges of murder and manslaughter.
The other three police officers in attendance (Tou Thao, J Alexander Keung and Thomas Lane) will be brought to trial later this year.
What did the trial hear on the second day?
Four children, under the age of 18 at the time of the incident, submitted evidence to the court, but the cameras were turned off so that the jury could not see them, and they were identified by their name alone.
Dhanera was arrested on the street outside while walking to a Cup Foods store with her 9-year-old cousin.
She told the court, “I saw a man begging for his life in fear. That wasn’t right. He was suffering.”
She said she heard Mr. Floyd saying, “I can’t breathe. He was afraid. He was calling his mother.”
Dhanera said witnessing his death changed her life.
“When I see George Floyd, I see my father. I see my brother, my cousin, my uncle, because they are all black,” she said in tears. “And find out how it could have been one of them.”
“I will continue to apologize to George Floyd for not doing any more.”
Her young cousin also showed evidence, saying she felt “sad and kind of madness” with what she saw. “It sounded like he was hurt.”
When he was arrested, two friends, Alyssa (18) and Karen (17), drove to the store. Both said Floyd felt helpless when he saw the last moment before “just lying there, no longer fighting or resisting.”
The last witness of the day was the off-duty firefighter Genevieve Hanson. He said police prevented her from providing medical assistance that would save Mr Floyd’s life. She was accused by the judge of her harsh response to the defense’s cross-examination.
What else have you heard about the trial?
A witness, mixed martial arts trained Donald Williams II, was questioned by the prosecution and defense for over an hour on Monday and Tuesday.
He told the court that Chauvin used a dangerous technique called “blood choke” to move his knees back and forth to increase pressure on Floyd’s back and neck.
He rejected the defense proposal that his interaction with the police of other bystanders threatened the police there.
In an opening statement on Monday, Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told the jury that Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck and used “excessive and irrational force” to detain him, “betraying the badge.” “.
Meanwhile, Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, said the case was not about “political or social causes,” but about evidence. He said Mr Floyd had taken drugs “to hide them from the police” at the time of his arrest, suggesting that this contributed to his death.
Chauvin remained silent, but remained involved during the process, listening to evidence and taking almost constant notes in the yellow statutory book.
Why is this the case that gets such attention?
A video footage of Derek Chauvin’s Dhanera kneeling on George Floyd’s neck was played around the world, causing public protests and racial calculations in the United States.
For many, Floyd’s death in police custody became a vivid symbol of police atrocities, especially against colored races, and triggered global demonstrations for racial justice.
But despite global protests, this is not an open and shut case. In the United States, police are rarely convicted of death or prosecution on duty.
The verdict in this case is widely seen as an indication of how the US legal system treats deaths that occur during police detention.