Derek Chauvin Trial Recap: Emotional Witness Testimony, New Video Presented

On the third day of the trial against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, witnesses provided emotional testimony of what they saw and heard the day of George Floyd’s death. 

Opening statements began Monday (March 29) and included testimony from the 911 operator who dispatched the officers to the Cup Foods convenience store where George Floyd was arrested and killed. The court also heard from a cashier from a store located across the street from Cup Foods who recorded video of officers detaining Floyd. 

On Tuesday (March 30) the prosecution called eyewitness Donald Williams, a trained MMA fighter, to the stand to resume his testimony account of what happened, including describing what kind of hold position Chauvin held Floyd in for nine minutes and 29 seconds. The day ended with testimony of off-duty firefighter, Genevieve Hansen, who said she offered to provide medical aid to Floyd, but that Chauvin and other officers refused. 

We also heard from a number of underaged witnesses, including the then-17-year-old whose recording of Floyd’s death sparked international protests for months. 

“It’s been nights I’ve stayed up apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life. But it’s like it’s not what I should have done. It’s what he should have done,” the witness said through tears. 

For a full Day 2 recap, please click here

Here’s what happened during the third day of testimony.

EMT Completes Testimony 

To start the court proceedings for the day, off-duty firefighter and EMT Genevieve Hansen retook the stand for brief questioning. The defense for Chauvin asked Hansen if she’d provided identification to officers to prove that she was a firefighter, to which she responded, “no.” 

The prosecution wrapped up their questions by asking Hansen if she even had identification with her at the time, to which she again responded, “no.” 

We Heard from the Cup Foods Employee Who Took The $20 Bill From George Floyd

19-year-old Christopher Martin testified in court today. He was the cashier who took the alleged counterfeit $20 bill from Floyd. He told the court his manager imposed a policy that if a counterfeit bill is accepted, the amount of the bill will be taken from the cashier’s paycheck. Martin said he told his manager the bill might be fake, and offered to pay the difference, but instead the manager directed store employees to go out to Floyd’s car and confront him on two occasions. The police were called following these confrontations. 

“If I would have just not taken the bill this all could be avoided,” Martin said in court. He also said he recorded the fatal incident but deleted the video when he realized Floyd was dead. 

“I didn’t want to have to show anybody [the video],” Martin said when asked why he deleted it. 

We Saw In-Store Surveillance Footage Before Police Were Called

New surveillance video from inside the store was also shown in court. The jury saw George Floyd’s body language and behavior before Chauvin and three other officers were called. Several customers were in the store and appeared to go about their business in the store without displaying fear or concern for Floyd. 

Charles McMillan Broke Down After Seeing Body Cam Footage Of George Floyd’s Death

Charles McMillan, a 61-year-old member of the community near Cup Foods, and one of the first bystanders on the scene, testified in court. He said in court he pulled over while driving after seeing Floyd being detained. He walked to the scene and was heard on camera trying to get Floyd to comply with officers. “You can’t win,” he can be heard saying to Floyd in the video. 

After the video was played, McMillan broke down in tears and sobbed. The court was recessed for ten minutes following and McMillan continued his testimony. 

“Even I said to the officer, I said, ‘man said he can’t breathe.’ They [police] said, ‘if he keep talking, well, he can breathe,’” McMillan testified. 

McMillan also said he told Chauvin directly, “I don’t respect what you did,” after watching the interaction between Floyd and the officers and Floyd had been taken by an ambulance. 

We Heard What Derek Chauvin Said In Defense Of His Actions After The Ambulance Left

In never before seen footage, the court heard what Chauvin said after finally getting up off of George Floyd’s neck and after the ambulance had taken Floyd’s body.  

“We got to control this guy b because he’s a sizeable guy, and it looks like he is probably on something,” Chauvin can be heard saying to McMillan in the video recording from Chauvin’s body camera. 

Christopher Belfrey Took The Stand

Another eyewitness took the stand during the day's proceedings. The prosecution presented new cellphone footage of the beginning of George Floyd’s arrest. Charles Belfrey said in court that he started recording the incident after seeing an officer approach Floyd’s vehicle with a gun drawn. Belfrey was parking his car when he saw officers pull Floyd out of his car. “They brought him out, walked him over to the sidewalk and sat him down. One officer then went over to the other people that was in the vehicle and started asking them questions,” Belfrey said. 

Belfrey testified that he stopped recording because he got “nervous.” 

“One of the officers kept staring at me while I was recording so I kind of put it down. Then I went to record again and then I was like, I really don’t want any problems so I stopped recording,” he said during the proceedings. He said he thought the officers were detaining Floyd when he drove away. 

Minneapolis Police Lieutenant James Rugel Is Called To the Stand

James Rugel, a lieutenant in the Minneapolis Police Department, took the stand as well. Rugel is in charge of managing the department’s business technology unit, which includes managing equipment officers use while out on patrol and during investigations.

Some Social Media Posts From The Day

Resources To Process 

Watching the trial, taking in traumatic moments may be difficult as video is played and replayed and verbally described. 

A few resources that may aid in processing the trial are below: 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-8255

The National Alliance on Mental Illness1-800-950-6264

The Association of Black Psychologists1-301-449-3082

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America1-240-485-1001

The resources listed have resources including peer groups and other counseling services that may be helpful. They also offer ways to cope with stress, anxiety, depression and other conditions that are important to monitor. 

The Black Information Network's trial-related content includes a nightly news special, titled "Searching for Justice for George Floyd," that airs at 7:00 pm ET Monday through Friday on all BIN 24/7 affiliates. Emmy Award-winning journalist Vanessa Tyler will anchor the daily 30-minute commercial-free recap of that day's testimony.

Additionally, BIN's Morgyn Wood will anchor live coverage of the trial on our Minneapolis affiliate BIN 93.3 FM. Tune in to Black Information Network 24/7's coverage on 31 Black Information Network affiliate stations and on the iHeartRadio app. Frequent updates and breaking news will also air on all 92 iHeartMedia Hip Hop, R&B, and Gospel music stations

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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