During the first day of the Derek Chauvin trial, the prosecution called three witnesses. The first witness in the case was Jena Scurry, a Minneapolis 911 dispatcher who directed officers to the Cup Foods store, the scene of George Floyd’s death.
Scurry walked the jury through video, not previously publicly released, shot from a police camera across the street from Cup Foods. She was able to watch live video from that feed on the day of Floyd’s death and called a police sergeant to voice her concerns about the arrest.
“You can call me a snitch if you want to,” she said in the recorded call. “I don’t know if they had to use force or not. They got something out of the back of the squad and all of them sat on this man, so I don’t know if they needed to or not.”
The second witness was 23-year-old, Alisha Oyler. An Arizona resident, Oyler had never seen Floyd before the day of his death. She moved to Minneapolis when she was young, attending and dropping out of high school in the city. Currently unemployed, Oyler once worked at a Speedway on Chicago, a street near the location where Floyd died. She was at work the day of Floyd’s death.
Oyler remembers seeing a bunch of people yelling and fighting once the ambulance left. She told the courtroom she went back to work after watching the incident outside. After her shift ended at 10 p.m. she was detoured from her normal route home due to an active crime scene.
“Always some **** going on over here,” the courtroom could hear Oyler say on video.
Mathew Frank, the lead prosecutor, showed Oyler a map he called Exhibit 1. The map displayed the Speedway she worked at and the area Floyd died. It’s decided the Speedway is across the street. Oyler was able to see the incident between Floyd and the officers from the cash register she was supposed to be working at. However, during her shift, she decided to film 7 cellphone recordings of the incident. Video of this was shown in the courtroom.
Donald Williams is the 3rd witness. Williams was at the scene the day George Floyd, a man Williams had never seen before, died. He used the knowledge he had about mixed martial arts to determine the chokehold Chauvin applied to Floyd was a blood choke. He told the courtroom that Chauvin’s choke was similar to a classic blood choke and the defendant looked at him, acknowledging his statement. A battling moment for Williams who said he fought himself to stay on the curb, but he ultimately feared approaching the incident.
“He did what America did and he blamed [his death] on drugs,” said Williams.
Williams told Frank that he felt Chauvin used a technique called a shimmy in order to close the gap of air between Floyd’s shoulder and neck, ultimately killing Floyd.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s autopsy listed Floyd’s cause of death as heart failure due to “law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” and ruled it a homicide. The medical examiner, Dr. Andrew Baker, also noted Floyd’s arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use as “other significant conditions.”
The second-degree murder charge says Chauvin intentionally assaulted Floyd with his knee, which unintentionally caused Floyd’s death. The third-degree murder charge — which was added to the case in recent weeks — says Chauvin acted with a “depraved mind, without regard for human life.” And the second-degree manslaughter charge says Chauvin’s “culpable negligence” caused Floyd’s death.
The three charges against Chauvin are to be considered separately, so he could be convicted of all, some, or none of them.
If convicted, Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines recommend about 12.5 years in prison for each murder charge and about four years for the manslaughter charge.