Monday morning, the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin trial began with the playing of the video that rocked everyone the world over. People could hear George Floyd take his last breaths as he cried and yelled for mercy, expressing his pain and need for water. Floyd’s nose bled and he begged for mercy as Derek Chauvin continued to kneel on his neck. Onlookers tried to assist Floyd by begging the officers to stop.

“You could have easily put him into the cop car by now,” said one bystander. “Get off of him,” another said. All obviously afraid to go against the law and physically intervene.

While the courtroom watched and listened to the video, attempting to understand and dissect what they’re hearing and listening to, George Floyd died with Chauvin’s knee on his neck as three officers watched.

The video was 8 minutes and 46 seconds long. On the day before the trial, Benjamin Crump, Rev. Al Sharpton, George Floyd’s brother, Philonise, and an unknown man kneeled, as Crump fell down at minute 6. They then helped each other get up after kneeling, each seemingly cramped up. Maybe because of age, but definitely because they kneeled for that entire time.

Jerry Blackwell, the lead prosecuting attorney, said bystanders will be interviewed. None of them knew George Floyd or had ever seen him before.

“You can believe your eyes it’s a homicide, it’s a murder,” said Jerry Blackwell. “there was no damage to Mr. Floyd’s heart.”

Blackwell negated claims that Floyd died of a heart attack, saying Floyd’s heart wasn’t photographed because there was nothing wrong with it. Blackwell confirmed that Floyd had an opioid addiction, but he didn’t die from opioids. Meaning, he didn’t die from an overdose. Blackwell spoke to the back injuries Floyd sustained, pointing out that we can see the injuries in the video shown in court.

Next, Eric Nelson, the defense attorney representing Derek Chauvin, addressed the courtroom.

“It’s about the evidence in this case,” said Nelson. “There is no political or social cause in this courtroom.”

He continued on to tell the courtroom that over 28 agents interviewed nearly 200 civilians, paramedics, firefighters, police, and anyone else involved or around the situation. He says it was determined by the store clerk that George Floyd was under the influence. Nelson also told the courtroom that there is video evidence that Floyd was asked about a counterfeit $20 bill he used to make a purchase. Nelson says Martin asked Floyd to buy or return the cigarettes, but Floyd and Maurice Hall, Floyd’s friend, refused.

Nelson told the courtroom that the bigger the bystander crowd became, the angrier police became, saying the police officers at the scene were called names. Nelson says pills, similar to the ones in Floyd’s Benz, were found in the Squad 320 cop car and the blood from Floyd’s nose came from his head banging on the Squad car prior to being placed in the “hog-tie”. Nelson says there were no injuries to Floyd’s back and the toxicology report presented Floyd had drugs in his system.

Matthew Frank, Prosecuting Attorney, asked if witnesses would wear a mask or not wear a mask. Judge Peter Cahill decided that witnesses will not wear a mask. Jena Scurry is the first witness. She is a 911 dispatcher in Minneapolis. She was wearing her 911 dispatch uniform, a jacket with 911 on the left side, and her name tag around her neck. Frank asks her about her job and how much training she has to do. Scurry knows a lot about her job. She tells the courtroom, “the majority of my job is listening.”

“Listening to the radio, listening to people on the phone,” said Scurry. Frank asks her about her comfortability using visuals at work. She says she uses them depending on how busy she is, saying the cameras (TVs) are on the wall are similar to how they are in the courtroom. She goes on to explain the typical process when citizens make a 911 call. She said the day she witnessed George Floyd’s death she was working the middle shift (2:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.).

The Atlanta Voice will continue to update as the trial continues.

Jerry W. Blackwell, a lawyer for the prosecution, left, and Eric J. Nelson, a defense lawyer for Derek Chauvin (Photo: Court TV still image, via Associated Press)

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