MINNEAPOLIS — The trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is underway in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Chauvin, who is white, is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in connection with the death of George Floyd, who was Black, during an arrest last May. For 8 minutes and 46 seconds, Floyd – handcuffed and face down on the pavement – said repeatedly that he could not breathe, while other officers looked on.
A video of Floyd’s agonizing death soon went viral, triggering last summer’s unprecedented wave of mass protests against police violence and racism.
A man who was among onlookers shouting at the officers returns to the stand on Tuesday, a day after he described seeing Floyd struggle for air and his eyes rolling back into his head, saying he saw Floyd “slowly fade away … like a fish in a bag.”
Donald Williams, a former wrestler who said he was trained in mixed martial arts including chokeholds, testified Monday that he thought Chauvin used a shimmying motion several times to increase the pressure on Floyd.
Before Williams testified, prosecutors led off their case by playing portions of a widely seen bystander video of Floyd’s arrest that sent waves of outrage and anger around the globe.
Chauvin’s murder trial is expected to last up to four weeks.