In the first week of the trial, jurors were shown surveillance footage inside and outside the Cup Foods store; cell phone pictures of the initial arrest of George Floyd and Chauvin kneeling in Floyd; and camera footage of the four agents on stage, including Chauvin’s defensive and misleading statements after Floyd left in an ambulance.
Taken together, the videos provide a 360-degree view of Floyd’s last day alive on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis.
As we enter the second week of the trial, here’s a review of each of the many perspectives and angles that help tell his story before, during, and after his death under Chauvin’s knee.
The previously unseen video, presented in court, shows Floyd upright and chatty in the Cup Foods corner store on May 25th.
“He seemed very kind, approachable. He was talkative,” Martin said. “He seemed to have only an average Memorial Day, he just lived his life. But he looked tall.”
Floyd then bought a pack of cigarettes with a $ 20 bill that Martin believed was fake because of its blue color and texture. After examining the bill closely, Martin told his manager, who twice told Martin and other employees to get out of Floyd’s vehicle and return him to the store to solve the problem.
When Floyd didn’t, the manager told an employee to call the police, a fateful call that eventually ended with Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck.
Martin told the court he felt “disbelief and guilt” when he learned that his interaction led to Floyd’s death.
“If he hadn’t passed the bill, that could have been avoided,” he said.
Minneapolis police were called to the scene and officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng went to Floyd’s vehicle to investigate.
Next to the driver of the vehicle, Lane quickly pulled out his firearm, pulled out Floyd, and put him in the handcuffs. The two officers sat Floyd on the sidewalk and later tried to move him to the back of his team’s car, prompting a fight with police.
From the beginning of their interaction, Floyd seems frantic and frightened. “Please don’t shoot me,” he says crying during the arrest.
Officers accuse Floyd of acting “squirrel” and “erratic,” the video shows. “I’m claustrophobic,” Floyd says in response.
Belfrey, parked behind Floyd’s vehicle, took a cell phone video showing officers pulling Floyd out of the car and handcuffing him. Belfrey stated that he moved his car down the street to make more video of the arrest, but eventually decided to leave the area.
“I didn’t know exactly what was going on; it’s that I didn’t want to be in the middle of so much commotion,” Belfrey said.
Chauvin’s knee to Floyd’s neck
Chauvin’s 9 minutes and 29 seconds kneeling on Floyd’s neck were captured by several viewer videos, surveillance videos from the street and videos from the Cup Foods store.
Recorder images of viewers that went viral last May were reproduced for the jurors during the initial statements.
“I pulled out the phone, recording, capturing what I saw,” he stated. “I heard George Floyd say, ‘I can’t breathe, please get down from me.'” I can’t breathe ‘and cry for his mother.
Several other spectators made a video of what they were watching, including another high school student, an off-duty firefighter, and an employee on the Speedway across the street.
“I knew there was something wrong, so I started recording,” said an 18-year-old high school student.
“Witness memories will never be as good as a video,” firefighter Genevieve Hansen said of her decision to start recording.
Finally, at the end of Wednesday’s testimony, images from the body camera of the four actors on stage (Chauvin, Lane, Kueng and Tou Thao) were interpreted in court. The only body camera that shows very little is Chauvin’s, as his fell under the squadron’s car during the arrest.
“I feel powerless,” he said. “I don’t have a mother either. I understand her.”
However, some of the body camera images reproduced in court had not been seen or heard before and show Chauvin’s defensive and misleading statements immediately afterwards.
This includes a video of Chauvin’s body camera capturing audio of him explaining his perspective on why he knelt Floyd for so long.
Other images captured Chauvin’s audio offering his perspective in a phone call with his supervisor, Sgt. David Pleoger.
“I was just going to call and you came to our scene here,” Chauvin said in the call. “We just had to stop a guy. He was going crazy. He wouldn’t … he wouldn’t get to the bottom of the squad …”
The video ends. For the rest of the phone call, Chauvin said they had tried to put Floyd in the car, became combative and, after a fight, had a medical emergency, Pleoger said. Chauvin did not mention that he used Floyd’s knee and back, Pleoger said.
Pleoger went to the scene and advised the officers to speak to the witnesses. “We can try, but they’re all pretty hostile,” Chauvin replied, according to the video from the scene’s body camera.