Defense replays fixed camera video in cross-examination of 911 dispatcher
Derek Chauvin’s defense attorney in his cross-examination of the first witness Monday replayed video that a 911 dispatcher saw that led her to raise concerns about his use of force, pointing out that she did not have the same training on use of force as police officers.
Eric Nelson in his questioning of Minneapolis 911 dispatcher Jena Lee Scurry said she was not a police officer and thus had not been through the same police academy or training as Chauvin.
Scurry said in earlier testimony that Chauvin was on George Floyd’s neck for so long, she thought live video footage of the scene had frozen.
She testified that she believed “something was wrong” as she watched a fixed police camera on Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis showing Floyd being detained by Chauvin and his colleagues.
“It had not changed. They were still on the ground …. it was long enough, long enough that I could look back multiple times,” Scurry said. “I first asked if the screens had frozen because it hadn’t changed.”
Nelson asked Scurry questions to suggest that what she also saw at the time was a potential struggle happening inside a police car as video showed what appeared to be the police car rocking back and forth during part of the encounter before Floyd was on the ground.
He also asked her if she could hear what the officers were saying as she watched the duration of the live police feed video, which she confirmed she could not at the time.
Prosecution calls second witness, a nearby employee who saw Floyd’s arrest
Prosecutors called their second witness to the stand, a 23-year-old woman who saw police apprehend George Floyd last year.
Alisha Oyler worked at a Speedway convenience store across the street Chicago Avenue when police were called on May 25.
She was questioned by former federal prosecutor Steven Schleicher, who also led jury selection for the prosecution.
Biden will be following trial ‘closely,’ White House says
President Joe Biden will “be watching closely” the trial of Derek Chauvin, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.
“At the time of George Floyd’s death, he talked about this as being an event that really opened up a wound in the American public and really brought to light for a lot of people in this country just the kind of racial injustice and inequality that many communities are experiencing every single day,” Psaki said.
Psaki said Biden would not weigh in any further on the matter while the trial was ongoing. When asked whether Biden had been in touch with the Floyd family ahead of the trial, Psaki said she did not have any calls to discuss at the moment.
Biden frequently talked about Floyd as a candidate and has continued to do so as president, urging the country to use Floyd’s death as a call to action against systemic racism. In late May, days after Floyd’s killing, then then-presumptive Democratic presidential nominee spoke with his family. Biden also gave an emotional taped address that played at Floyd’s funeral service in June, saying that “when there is justice for George Floyd, we will truly be on our way to racial justice in America.”
Biden, who had long styled himself as a law-and-order Democrat and promoted his close ties with police and first responders, said in May that there needed to be reforms that hold police officers “to a higher standard,” including holding “bad cops accountable.”
Floyd was on the ground so long, 911 dispatcher believed a TV screen had frozen
A police officer was on George Floyd’s neck for so long, a 911 dispatcher thought live video footage of the scene had frozen, she told jurors.
Jena Lee Scurry, the dispatcher, testified that she believed “something was wrong” as she watched a fixed police camera on Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis showing Floyd being detained by Officer Derek Chauvin and his colleagues.
“It had not changed. They were still on the ground …. it was long enough, long enough that I could look back multiple times,” Scurry said, answering questions from Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank. “I first asked if the screens had frozen because it hadn’t changed.”
Floyd had been on the ground under police for so long, Scurry called Chauvin’s supervising sergeant to voice her concerns. In the call, played for jurors, Scurry acknowledged that it was beyond her normal duties and called herself a “snitch.”
“My instincts were telling me that something’s wrong, something was not right. I don’t know what, but something wasn’t right,” Scurry told jurors.
911 dispatcher called as first witness in Derek Chauvin trial
The first witness called in the trial against Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd was a Minneapolis 911 dispatcher who called police while witnessing Floyd’s arrest.
Jena Lee Scurry was called by prosecutors on Monday. Scurry called police after witnessing Floyd’s arrest on a live feed police camera near the neighborhood, the prosecution said in its opening statement.
“You’ll learn that what she saw was so unusual and for her so disturbing that she did something she had never done in her career — she called the police on the police,” prosecutor Jerry Blackwell said in his opening statement.
Scurry was questioned for the prosecution by Assistant Attorney General Matthew Frank, head of the state’s criminal division.
Defense argues ‘no evidence that Mr. Floyd’s airflow was restricted’
Derek Chauvin’s defense attorney said Monday morning during opening statements that a “battle” the trial will hinge on is George Floyd’s cause of death.
Lead defense attorney Eric Nelson said Floyd displayed “none of the telltale signs of asphyxiation.”
There was “no evidence that Mr. Floyd’s airflow was restricted,” Nelson said.
He said Floyd died of a cardiac arrhythmia caused by hypertension and coronary disease along with the presence of fentanyl, methamphetamine and adrenaline in Floyd’s body.
The prosecution had said earlier that “George Floyd lived for years, day in and day out with all of these conditions,” but did not die until Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes on May 25.
Defense: ‘There is no political or social cause in this courtroom’
Former police officer Derek Chauvin’s attorney urged jurors to ignore this past summer of protests, and instead focus on a few minutes outside of Cup Foods.
Floyd’s death in police custody on May 25 touched off months of demonstrations across the globe, calling for an end to systemic racism.
“Common sense tells us there are two sides of every story,” defense lawyer Eric Nelson told jurors. “There is no political or social cause in this courtroom.”
Chauvin defense says case hinges on more than ‘9 minutes and 29 seconds’
Derek Chauvin’s defense said Monday the evidence in the case is about more than the “9 minutes and 29 seconds” that the former Minneapolis police officer is accused of applying excessive force in the death of George Floyd.
“The evidence in this case is far greater than 9 minutes and 29 seconds,” attorney Eric Nelson said during opening statements Monday morning.
Nelson said the witness list in the case included nearly 400 people and was approaching 50,000 items in terms of documents and evidence related to the case.
“Common sense tells us that we need to examine the totality of the evidence and how it can be applied to the questions of reasonableness of actions and reactions,” he said.
In his opening statement, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell played viral bystander video of Chauvin putting his knee to Floyd’s neck and told jurors to “believe your eyes” and cast aside defense arguments that anyone other than Chauvin might have caused Floyd’s death.
Nelson said the evidence will show that Chauvin “did exactly what he had been trained to do over the course of his 19 year career.”
“The use of force is not attractive, but it is a necessary component of policing,” he said.
Prosecution speaks about George Floyd, the person: ‘He was somebody to a lot of other bodies’
Attorney Jerry Blackwell concluded his opening statement for the prosecution in former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial by speaking about George Floyd, the person.
Floyd, who lived in Minnesota by way of Houston and North Carolina, lost his security job when the pandemic began, and had survived Covid 19, Blackwell said.
“He excelled in basketball and football, he loved shooting hoops until the end,” he said.
“I want you to learn something about George Perry Floyd,” Blackwell said, pointing out that his loved ones called him Perry.
“He was not just an object of excessive force. He was a real person. He was a father, a brother, a cousin, a friend to many,” Blackwell told the jury. “He was somebody to a lot of other bodies in the world.”