Eyewitness In Derek Chauvin Trial: ‘I Witnessed A Murder’
“He looked at me,” Williams testified, adding that Chauvin stared at him “dead in the eyes” at that point. “That’s the only time he looked up.”
Chauvin has been charged with second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. He has pleaded not guilty.
After Williams was dismissed Tuesday, the prosecution called on 18-year-old Darnella Frazier to testify. Frazier said she had been taking her young cousin Judeah Reynolds to buy some snacks at a convenience store in May 2020 when she noticed police arresting Floyd.
Frazier said she pulled out her cellphone and began recording the incident. That video, which showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck as Floyd repeatedly stated he couldn’t breathe, would later be viewed millions of times around the world.
Floyd was “terrified, scared, begging for his life,” Frazier recalled, becoming audibly emotional. “It wasn’t right. He was suffering. He was in pain. … He cried for his mom.”
“I have a Black father,” she said at one point. “I have a Black brother. I have Black friends. I look at that how that could have been one of them.”
In describing the impact that witnessing Floyd’s death has had on her, Frazier said there have been nights she has “stayed up apologizing” to Floyd for “not doing more” and “not saving his life.” But she suggested it was Chauvin who bore responsibility for Floyd’s death.
“It’s not what I should have done,” Frazier said. “It’s what he should have done.”
Reynolds, Frazier’s 9-year-old cousin who also witnessed Floyd’s arrest, was called to testify next.
“I saw the officer put his knee on George Floyd,” Reynolds said, adding that the incident made her “sad and kind of mad.”
“It felt like he was stopping his breathing and it was kind of like hurting him,” the third grader said of Chauvin’s actions toward Floyd.