Derek Chauvin trial: Eyewitnesses testify, Chauvin body camera video shown for 1st time
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Wednesday was first time public saw video from former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s body camera of George Floyd's deadly arrest. The state played several clips from Chavuin's body camera during the trial, including his arrival at Cup Foods on May 25, 2020 and an interaction with an eyewitness after Floyd was taken away by ambulance.
The state continued to build its case against Chauvin on Wednesday. He is charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death. The trial is being broadcast live, gavel to gavel, on FOX 9 and streaming live at fox9.com/live.
Here are the witnesses who testified on Wednesday:
- Lt. James Rugel, the first Minneapolis Police Department staff member to take the stand. He has oversight of MPD technology, including the body camera program.
- Charles McMillian, another eyewitness outside Cup Foods. He was overcome with emotion watching the body camera footage of the struggle between George Floyd and police. He could be heard in the video telling Floyd "you can’t win" with police.
- Christopher Belfrey, who was parked in a vehicle right behind George Floyd’s SUV outside Cup Foods. He recorded a cell phone video of the initial interaction with police, including Officer Thomas Lane pulling Floyd out of the vehicle.
- Christopher Martin, 19. A Cup Foods employee who was working the night of May 25, 2020. He sold Floyd cigarettes and identified the $20 bill Floyd used to pay for them as counterfeit.
- Genevieve Hanson, an off-duty Minneapolis firefighter who came upon the scene of Floyd’s arrest while out for a walk. Her testimony on Wednesday was brief, but she testified on Tuesday that she 'desperately' wanted to help provide medical attention to George Floyd, but officers kept her at bay.
The jury heard from several other eyewitnesses on Tuesday, including Darnella Frazier, the teenager whose cell phone video of Floyd's death went viral.
Follow below for updates on the Derek Chauvin trial. Mobile users click here.
Witness in Chauvin trial breaks down in tears after watching Floyd arrest video
Surveillance video shows Charles McMillian saw much of the encounter, starting with Floyd being moved across the street, where the officers tried to put him in the police squad vehicle. As the officers struggled, McMillian said he tried calling out to Floyd.
"I'm trying to get him to understand that when you make a mistake once they get you in car ... you're going to go with them and I was trying to get him to go," said McMillian during his testimony.
The prosecution then continued the video, which had former officer J. Alexander Kueng's body camera video superimposed on street surveillance video that showed McMillian's viewpoint.
In the video, the officers move Floyd to the ground where he states he can't breathe and starts calling out for his mother.
When the prosecution paused the video, McMillian became emotional on stand, grabbing tissues. The prosecution attempted to resume questioning, asking him about his strong emotional reaction.
"I feel helpless," he said, adding that he related to Floyd's calling for his mother.
Judge Peter Cahill had the court take a ten-minute break due to McMillian's emotional state before resuming the trial.
Cup Foods employee who identified Floyd’s counterfeit $20 bill testifies
The state called Christopher Martin, 19, to the stand on Wednesday. Martin was working at Cup Foods on May 25, 2020 and recalled selling Floyd some cigarettes. The prosecution played some surveillance video taken from inside Cup Foods and Martin walked jurors through his interactions with Floyd that night.
Martin testified about identifying the $20 bill Floyd used to pay for the cigarettes as counterfeit. He said store policy at the time was if a clerk accepts a counterfeit bill, they have to pay for it out of their own paycheck. His manager told him to go outside to confront Floyd in his SUV about the counterfeit bill. Martin said he and some coworkers went outside to speak with Floyd twice, asking him to come back into the store.
After Floyd refused, the manager instructed one of Martin’s coworkers to call police.
Martin said he continued working after that. He eventually noticed a commotion outside the store and a crowd growing, so he went outside to see what was happening.
Martin described feeling "disbelief, and guilt" after witnessing the deadly encounter between Floyd and police. "If I would have just not taken the bill, this could have been avoided," he said.
Martin said he stopped working at Cup Foods shortly after because he "didn’t feel safe."
Cup Foods issued the following statement in regards to Martin's testimony:
It is NOT Cup Foods protocol to send employees outside. It was because we had a good enough relationship with him (George Floyd) and we felt like he didn't know it was counterfeit.
Also, we ONLY tell employees they have to pay for counterfeit bills if they don't check them as a ''deterrent." We've never made an employee pay for a counterfeit bill.
Derek Chauvin charges
Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder, second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death last May.
Judge Cahill reinstated the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin during the first week of the trial.
Chauvin trial streaming and TV information
The Chauvin trial will be live streamed, gavel to gavel, at fox9.com/live and the FOX 9 News App. You can also find the FOX 9 stream on Tubi through connected TVs. When the trial itself begins March 29, FOX 9 will broadcast it live on FOX 9 for the duration, including a quick recap of the day when court adjourns, followed by the FOX 9 News at 5.
Who is in the courtroom?
- Trial Judge Peter Cahill
- 1 judge's clerk
- 1 court reporter
- Derek Chauvin, the defendant
- The jury. The empaneled jury will consist of 12 jurors and 2 alternates.
- Up to 4 lawyers or staff for the prosecution, led by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank.
- Defense attorney Eric Nelson and up to 2 staff from his law firm
- 1 witness at a time in the courtroom
- 1 George Floyd family member
- 1 Derek Chauvin family member
- 2 members of pooled media - 1 print and 1 broadcast or digital media
- 1 broadcast technician
The Derek Chauvin trial is being held in Courtroom 1856 of the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis. Court will begin at 9 a.m. and will adjourn at 4:30 p.m. most days.
Opening statements in the trial are scheduled to begin on March 29. A verdict is not expected until mid to late April.
QUICK READ: Derek Chauvin trial essential info and FAQs
Who are the selected jurors?
Fifteen jurors were seated during jury selection, but Judge Cahill dismissed the 15th juror before opening statements. The 14 remaining jurors will hear the whole case, but only 12 will deliberate. The two alternate jurors will step in if one of the 12 has to excuse themselves from the case. Judge Cahill has instructed the jurors to avoid any media coverage of the trial.
- Juror No. 2: White man in his 20s
- Juror No. 9: Mixed/multiracial woman in her 20s
- Juror No. 19: White man in his 30s
- Juror No. 27: Black man in his 30s
- Juror No. 44: White woman in her 50s
- Juror No. 52: Black man in his 30s
- Juror No. 55: White woman in her 50s
- Juror No. 79: Black man in his 40s
- Juror No. 85: Mixed/multiracial woman in her 40s
- Juror No. 89: White woman in her 50s
- Juror No. 91: Black woman in her 60s
- Juror No. 92: White woman in her 40s
- Juror No. 96: White woman in her 50s
- Juror No. 118: White woman in her 20s
- Juror No. 131: White man in his 20s
READ MORE: Who are the selected jurors?
Jurors will only be referred to by a random, previously assigned number because Judge Cahill has ordered their identities to remain a secret for the duration of the trial. At the conclusion of the trial, Judge Cahill will decide when the jurors’ identities can be made public.
The jury will be partially sequestered during the trial and fully sequestered while they are deliberating, which means they cannot go home until they reach a verdict or the judge determines they are hung. However, the judge can order full sequestration of the jury at any time if the partial sequestration proves ineffective in keeping the jurors free from outside influence.
Courtroom 1856 was renovated specifically for the Derek Chauvin trial to maximize capacity and maintain COVID-19 social distancing standards. The courtroom is located on the 18th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center.
Judge Cahill has ordered certain behavior in the courtroom:
Jurors, attorneys, witnesses and support staff must wear masks and keep six feet from other people.
Masks can be removed when giving testimony, examining witnesses, giving opening statements or closing arguments. Attorneys must conduct all witness examinations and arguments from the lectern.
Any sidebar conferences will be conducted over wireless headsets. Chauvin will be outfitted with a headset to listen to these conferences, which will be off-the-record.
Jurors will be escorted to courtroom each day by deputies or security. No one can have contact with jurors except the judge, court personnel and deputies. Any attorney contact is limited to the jury selection process when court is in session.
Jurors will only be referred to by a randomized number.
Death of George Floyd
George Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020 while being detained by Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue. The intersection has remained closed to traffic since Floyd's death and has been dubbed George Floyd Square.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 17: People participate in a demonstration on August 17, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Community members came together for a rally to protest the city's potential forceful reopening 38th Street and Chicago Ave, an unofficial
A widely-shared video taken by a bystander showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while he repeatedly cried, "I can’t breathe."
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced the firing of all four officers the following day. Chauvin was arrested and charged with Floyd’s death on May 29 and the three others were arrested and charged with aiding and abetting on June 3.
TIMELINE: George Floyd's death to Derek Chauvin's trial
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's report ruled the death of George Floyd a homicide. The updated report stated that George Floyd experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement.