“It wasn’t right, he was suffering, he was in agony,” the teen who filmed the harrowing video of George Floyd under the knee of the Minneapolis police officer who is now charged with his murder testified.
Darnella Frazier, 18, said she came across the officers while heading to a convenience store with her younger cousin.
She didn’t want the younger girl to see “a man frightened, afraid, begging for his life,” so she sent her into the shop.
Ms Frazier became emotional on Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT) when she viewed photos of officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd last May, breathing heavily and weeping.
Mr Floyd’s death, as well as the video of him pleading for his life and onlookers yelling at Mr Chauvin to get off him, sparked worldwide protests and a reckoning with racism and police brutality in the United States.
One of the bystanders, a Minneapolis firefighter, pleaded with officers to check Floyd’s pulse several times, but Mr Chauvin continued to kneel on Floyd’s neck, and he and fellow officer Tou Thao wouldn’t let onlookers get close, according to Ms Frazier.
She told the jury, “They definitely put their hands on the Mace, and we all pulled back.”
“He just stared at us, looked at us,” Ms Frazier said of the defendant. “He had like this cold look, heartless. He didn’t care. It seemed as if he didn’t care what we were saying.” Eric Nelson, the defense attorney, argued that his client and his fellow officers were placed in an increasingly tense and distracting situation, with the crowd of onlookers becoming agitated and menacing over Mr Floyd’s treatment.
When a prosecutor asked if she saw any violence on the scene, Ms Frazier responded, “Yes, from the cops. From Chauvin, and from officer Thao.”
When asked to identify the officer, Mr Chauvin rose from his seat in the courtroom and removed his mask, his face solemn as he looked down and away before replacing it.