Minneapolis is a city on edge this week as emotional and disturbing testimony continues in former officer Derek Chauvin’s trial.
At the start of the second week of testimony began, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) went on national television proclaiming that the city was “on edge” watching the trial of Chauvin, who is facing multiple charges in connection with the death of George Floyd.
“We have seen justice not delivered in our community for many years,” Omar told CNN.
“I think that there is a lot of confidence in Attorney General Keith Ellison and the prosecutors in this case, but we are all eagerly awaiting to see how this trial shakes out.”
The congresswoman continued:
“It’s been really horrendous to watch the defense put George Floyd on trial instead of the former police officer who is charged with his murder.”
The first week of testimony concluded after Chauvin’s supervisor, Sgt. David Pleoger testified that the former officer was wrong to press his knee into Floyd for more than nine minutes.
“When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended the restraint,” Pleoger told the jury.
“It would be reasonable to put a knee on someone’s neck until they were not resisting anymore, but it should stop when they are no longer combative. [The actions by Chauvin] was totally unnecessary.”
Witness after witness testified that Floyd was not resisting.
A video shown in the Hennepin County Courthouse backed that testimony.
Jurors also learned that Chauvin knelt on Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds, a change from the almost year-long belief that it was eight minutes and 46 seconds.
Charles McMillan, a 61-year-old witness, testified how he watched in disbelief Chauvin’s actions.
“I feel helpless,” McMillan explained while describing hearing Floyd call out for his mother. “I don’t have a [mother] either. I understand him.”
Genevieve Hansen, an EMT worker, testified that she wanted to provide medical aid to Floyd, and when she asked police to check Floyd’s pulse, they refused.
“I tried calm reasoning, I tried to be assertive, I pled and was desperate,” Hansen told the jury. “I was desperate to give help.”
Chauvin is faced with one count of second-degree murder, one count of third-degree murder, and one count of second-degree manslaughter. He faces decades in prison if convicted. Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The case is expected to last at least two more weeks.