According to witness testimony at the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer accused of killing George Floyd, a police video revealed that after the ambulance took Floyd away, the officer had defended himself to a bystander by saying that the African-American man was a “sizeable guy” and “probably on something”. According to AP, the clip was part of a mountain of footage that showed how Floyd’s alleged attempt to pass a phoney $20 bill at a neighbourhood market last May escalated into tragedy. The video showed officers pulling Floyd from his SUV at gunpoint, struggling to push him into a squad car as he writhed and screamed that he was claustrophobic, and then putting him on the pavement.
After Floyd was then taken away by paramedics, Charles McMillian, a bystander who recognised Chauvin from the neighbourhood, told the officer he didn’t respect what Chauvin had done. However, the ex-cop replied saying, “That’s one person’s opinion. We gotta control this guy ’cause he’s a sizable guy ... and it looks like he’s probably on something”. It is worth mentioning that Floyd was 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds and an autopsy had found fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system.
Further, the video also showed Officer Thomas Lane confronting Floyd in his SUV, drawing his gun and demanding that he shows his hands. Floyd, on the other hand, could be heard yelling, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” and “I got shot before". Seemingly crying, he begged repeatedly, “Please don’t shoot me, man.”
Then, the clip revealed an officer shoving Floyd’s upper body and then his legs into the car, while the African-American man screamed, “Please! Please!... I can’t breathe”. Then the officers eventually pulled Floyd out and brought him to the ground. Once Floyd was on the ground - with Chauvin’s knee 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.
One of the officers even asked twice if they should roll Floyd on his side, and later said calmly that he thought Floyd was passing out. Another officer checked Floyd’s wrist for a pulse and said he couldn’t find one. Floyd was pinned down by Chauvin and other officers.
As per reports, the defence argued that Chauvin did what he was trained to do and that Floyd’s death was not caused by the officer’s knee, but his illegal drug use, heart disease. High blood pressure and the adrenaline flowing through his body. The 45-yeard-old officer is charged with murder and manslaughter, accused of killing the 46-year-old Floyd by kneeling on his neck for 9 minutes, 29 seconds, as he lay face-down in handcuffs. The most serious charge against the now-fired officer carries up to 40 years in prison.