WATCH & COMMENT LIVE: 9 Minutes, 29 Seconds - The 'Three Most Important Numbers in This Case'
What's your verdict? Is Chauvin guilty for the murder of George Floyd?
by Causes | 3.29.21
What's the story?
- Today, more than 10 months after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, former police officer Derek Chauvin will go on trial for his murder. Chauvin was recorded kneeling on Floyd's neck for minutes on end while Floyd shouted, "I can't breathe."
KEY QUOTES & MOMENTS
9 minutes and 29 seconds
- Both prosecutors and the defense team referenced the 9 minutes and 29 seconds Chauvin kneeled on Floyd's neck.
- This was a correction to the 8:46 timing that become a symbol of police brutality over the summer.
- Why the discrepency? The 8:46 was included in a criminal complaint against Chauvin, which was based on a 10-minute-long video of Floyd's death that went viral.
9:29 - The Prosecution
Prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell repeatedly highlighted "9:29," telling jurors they were the "three most important numbers in this case."
Blackwell broke down the timing of Chauvin's kneeling into three sections:
- 4 minutes and 45 seconds as Floyd cried out for help
- 53 seconds as Floyd flailed due to seizures
- 3 minutes and 51 seconds as Floyd was non-responsive
Prosecution in Derek Chauvin trial: "It's a homicide. You can believe your eyes.”
9:29 - The Defense
- Defense attorney Eric Nelson also referenced 9:29, telling jurors: "The evidence is far greater than 9 minutes and 29 seconds."
"You will learn that Derek Chauvin did exactly what he had been trained to do over the course of his 19-year career," Nelson said during his opening statement.
911 dispatcher: "My instincts were telling me that something's wrong" while watching video feed
- The first witness called by the prosecution: Jena Lee Scurry, who's worked as a Minneapolis 911 dispatcher for almost 7 years.
- Scurry said that as time passed, she wondered why the image on her screen — police holding Floyd on the ground — wasn't changing. At first, she thought her screen froze. When she realized it hadn't, she thought "something might be wrong."
"They had come from the back of the squad car to the ground and my instincts were telling me that something's wrong, something is not right," Scurry said.
Donald Wynn Williams II testified that he witnessed Floyd’s death
- Williams testified that he watched Floyd gasping to breathe, his eyes roll to the back of his head, and blood start to run out of his nose
“Just hearing people, different people, actually vocalizing their concerns to the officer, and hearing George on the ground, pretty much pleading for his life."
- Williams claimed he was one of the bystanders vocally pleading for Floyd’s life and testified that Officer Tou Thao said: "This is what drugs do to you."
Witness Alisha Oyler testified that she recorded seven cell phone videos of Floyd's interaction with Minneapolis officers
- Oyler was working at the Speedway across the street from where the arrest took place.
- Defense attorney Eric Nelson pointed out a discrepancy between recent testimony and an earlier statement she gave to investigators where claimed a female officer was on the scene.
- Oyler told prosecutors that Floyd was not resisting arrest when officers brought him across the street.
MORE ON THE CASE
- Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for his role in the killing of Floyd.
- Demonstrations over police-related killings of African Americans spread across the nation following Floyd's death.
- Chauvin's trial is expected to be one of the most highly-charged in recent history. Finding impartial jurors that reflect Minneapolis' diversity had been a major challenge, with potential jurors asked to fill out a 14-page questionnaire, which included these questions:
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