US Officer on Trial for Death that Sparked Protests Against Police Brutality

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Defense attorney Natalie Paule, one of the lawyers representing another former officer, Tao Thao, declined to comment on whether their team expects to receive similar financial backing from the police union, citing instruction not to speak with media during Chauvin's trial.

Moments after George Floyd was taken away in an ambulance last May, former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was confronted by a witness who took issue with Chauvin's kneeling on Floyd's neck.

"We got to control this guy because he's a sizable guy, and it looks like he is probably on something", Chauvin told McMillian on the recording.

Moments after the death of George Floyd, McMillian was spotted on CCTV camera and police bodycam speaking to Chauvin as he was getting into his squad vehicle. He told the court he engaged in conversation with Mr Floyd, urging him to get into the police auto.

That's what she told jurors on Tuesday in the murder trial of former officer Derek Chauvin, who is accused of killing George Floyd a year ago. He's a young man who, in that famous video, can be heard pleading with Chauvin to get off of Floyd's neck.

Mr Floyd's May 2020 arrest and death sparked global protests over policing and racism.

Floyd was "just kind of shaking his head and putting his hands in the air, like, 'Why is this happening to me?'" Martin said.

Chauvin is standing trial on three counts: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

An earlier report on theGRIO noted that the convenience store cashier who was handed a counterfeit $20 bill by Floyd - setting in motion the Black man's ill-fated encounter with police - testified Wednesday that he watched Floyd's arrest outside with "disbelief - and guilt". In the videos, Floyd gasps that he's claustrophobic, repeatedly says he can't breathe and calls for his mother. Asked by a prosecutor why he did so, McMillian said: "Because what I watched was wrong".

"He seemed very friendly, approachable, he was talkative, he seemed to be having just an average Memorial Day, just living his life", Martin recalled.

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"I pulled up to the squad auto somewhere in south Minneapolis, and I see Mr. Chauvin, and I told him like I tell other officers that the end of the day you go home to your family safe and that the next person goes home to their family safe", he said. They also played store security video of Floyd inside Cup Foods and yet another piece of amateur footage of him outside, adding to the mountain of video documenting what happened.

Mr Martin said he knew right away that the banknote was fake but took it anyway.

"I heard him keep trying to ask them to let him up, because he can't breathe".

"I felt helpless", Mr McMillian said.

Martin said he told the store manager about the fake bill, however, and the manager eventually called the police.

The defense has argued that Chauvin did what he was trained to do and that Floyd's death was not caused by the officer's knee, as prosecutors contend, but by Floyd's illegal drug use, heart disease, high blood pressure and the adrenaline flowing through his body.

"I saw (Chauvin) with his knee on George's neck on the ground", he said.

Several onlookers testified Tuesday about their increasing frustration, anger and despair as they begged Chauvin to take his knee off Floyd's neck.

He has spoken publicly in the months since the incident outside Cup Foods and has consistently claimed that Floyd did not resist arrest and that he himself attempted to diffuse the situation.

Martin said that inside the store, he asked Floyd if he played baseball, and Floyd said he played football, but it took Floyd some time to respond, so "it would appear that he was high". "I just didn't want to have to show it to anyone or be questioned about it", he said. You can't paint me out to be angry.

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