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This image from a police body camera shows people gathering as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was recorded pressing his knee on George Floyd’s neck. Onlookers yelled at Chauvin to get off as Floyd said that he could not breathe on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis. Bystander Darnella Frazier, then seventeen (third from right), filmed the incident that shaped the public’s understanding of Floyd’s death. (Minneapolis Police Department via AP)

They Spoke up for George Floyd as He Lay Dying And They Spoke up for Him at Trial

By the Associated Press
To the prosecution, the witnesses who watched George Floyd’s body go still were regular people — a firefighter, a mixed martial arts fighter, a high school student and her 9-year-old cousin in a T-shirt emblazoned with the word “Love” — going about their daily lives when they happened upon the ghastly scene of an officer kneeling on a man’s neck.

“Normal folks, the bystanders,” prosecutor Jerry Blackwell called them in his opening statement. “You’re going to see these bystanders, a veritable bouquet of humanity.”
But some of the same people are being portrayed as unruly, angry, even threatening by Eric Nelson, the attorney for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death. Nelson has told the jury about the hostility the officers faced, how they were distracted and perhaps frightened by people at the scene — repeatedly describing the bystanders as a “crowd,” and calling the neighborhood a “high crime area.”
“As the crowd grew in size, seemingly so too did their anger,” Nelson said in his opening statement on Monday. “And remember, there’s more to the scene than just what the officers see in front of them. There are people behind them, there are people across the street, there are cars stopping, people yelling. There is a growing crowd and what officers perceive to be a threat.”

Witnesses to the George Floyd Incident testify in court. From top: Genevieve Hansen, Firefighter, Donald Williams II,
Mixed Martial Artist, Charles McMillian

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