George Floyd news: 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” manoeuvre 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.


Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of murdering George Floyd during an arrest last May.

Louise Hall29 March 2021 13:01


Jury to hear opening arguments in Derek Chauvin trial

A jury will gather on Monday to hear whether the deadly arrest of George Floyd, which ignited a global protest movement last year, amounts to murder as opening arguments commence in the trial of former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin.

Mr Chauvin is charged with second- and third-degree murder, and manslaughter. The former police officer has pleaded not guilty to all three charges.

The main phase of the trial will start at 9am (Central Time) and will streamed live and could be expected to last for weeks.

Find out how to watch the trial live here.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Louise Hall29 March 2021 13:16


What happened to George Floyd?

Opening statements begin today in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd.

The trial is one of the biggest civil rights cases in a generation. Here’s what you need to know ahead of these major developments:

Louise Hall29 March 2021 13:19


Courthouse fortified with concrete barriers, fencing, and barbed and razor wire

The courthouse in downtown Minneapolis where the trial of Derek Chauvin will begin on Monday and other city buildings have been fortified with security measures including concrete barriers, fencing, and barbed and razor wire.

City and state leaders are determined to prevent a repeat of damaging riots that followed George Floyd’s death, and National Guard troops have already been mobilised.

The Hennepin County Courthouse, Minneapolis City Hall and Hennepin County Jail have all been secured with barbed wire, concrete barriers, razor wire, and non-scalable walls in anticipation of civil unrest should Mr Chauvin be exonerated.

The courtroom where Mr Chauvin will be tried is on the 18th floor of the courthouse. Plexiglass dividers have been installed to reduce transmission between those participating in the trial.

Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed and the seating in the room has been appropriately spread out.

Additional reporting from agencies

Louise Hall29 March 2021 13:27


Who is Derek Chauvin, the officer charged with murdering George Floyd?

Derek Chauvin worked for the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) for nearly 20 years before being fired shortly after George Floyd’s death.

While he was with the MPD, Mr Chauvin won commendations for bravery and rendering life-saving medical aid to a suspect.

He also was the subject of at least 22 complaints or internal investigations into his performance as an officer, some of which will be discussed during the trial.

Louise Hall29 March 2021 13:29


Reverend Al Sharpton asks ‘people around the world’ to take the knee ahead of trial

Prominent civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton has called for people around the world to “take the knee” in solidarity with the family of George Floyd.

Mr Sharpton put out an appeal on Twitter for people to kneel at 8am (Central Times) for 8 minutes 46 seconds “to pray with and for the Floyd family, as Derek Chauvin’s trial begins.”

Louise Hall29 March 2021 13:39


Derek Chauvin trial: what to expect

Louise Hall29 March 2021 13:41


Protesters hold ‘All Eyes on Justice’ march day before trial

Protesters and activists march the day before opening statements in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is facing murder charges in the death of George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US, 28 March, 2021


Louise Hall29 March 2021 13:51


How a mostly white jury could affect trial of George Floyd’s alleged killer

Jury selection concluded last week in the closely watched trial of Derek Chauvin and barring any jurors dropping out, the panel currently comprises mostly white people, according to the court.

Nine white people, four Black people, and two mixed race people filling out the roster of 12 jurors and three potential alternates.

Josh Marcus considers how a mostly white jury could affect trial of George Floyd’s alleged killer:

Louise Hall29 March 2021 13:55


What are the key questions in the Derek Chauvin trial?

The key questions at Derek Chauvin’s trial will be whether the former police officer caused George Floyd’s death and whether his actions were reasonable.

Mr Chauvin is charged with second and third-degree murder, and manslaughter. He has pleaded not guilty to all three charges.

For the unintentional second-degree murder charge, prosecutors have to prove Mr Chauvin‘s conduct was a “substantial causal factor” in Mr Floyd’s death, and that Mr Chauvin was committing felony assault at the time. 

For third-degree murder, they must prove that Mr Chauvin‘s actions caused Mr Floyd’s death, and were reckless and without regard for human life.

The manslaughter charge requires proof that Mr Chauvin caused Mr Floyd’s death through negligence that created an unreasonable risk.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, defendant and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, right, and Nelson’s assistant Amy Voss, back, introduce themselves to jurors as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides over jury selection in the trial of Chauvin Wednesday, 17 March, 2021


Reporting by Associated Press

Louise Hall29 March 2021 14:20


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