The Minneapolis teenager whose cellphone video of Derek Chauvin’s deadly arrest of George Floyd sparked worldwide protests began weeping as she was shown an image from the video at the former policeman’s murder trial on Tuesday.
Prosecutors have begun their case by calling witnesses to the arrest on May 25, 2020: a Minneapolis 911 dispatcher; a young woman who worked at the gas station across the street; a mixed martial arts fighter who was passing by.
Over the first two days of witness testimony, prosecutors have shown the jury video taken from multiple angles, including the teenager’s video of Chauvin, who is white, pressing his knee into the neck of a dying Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man in handcuffs, for about nine minutes.
Darnella Frazier, 18, was walking her 9-year-old cousin to buy some snacks at Cup Foods, where a worker had moments before accused Floyd of using a fake $20 bill, when she saw police arresting Floyd on the road outside.
She told the jury she saw “a man terrified, scared, begging for his life,” and so ensured her cousin was safely inside the store, out of sight, before pulling out her cellphone.
Frazier’s voice quavered when prosecutors brought up a still from her video, showing the moment when Chauvin, his knee on Floyd’s neck, appeared to look directly into Frazier’s camera lens. She said that he had “this cold look, heartless”.
“When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad, I look at my brothers, I look at my cousins, my uncles, because they are all black,” she said. “It could have been one of them.”