George Floyd’s family lawyer Ben Crump reflected on the intense second day of Derek Chauvin’s trial on the Tuesday night broadcast of “The Situation Room.”
Crump told CNN host Wolf Blitzer that watching the trial unfold was “simply heart-wrenching.” Everyone has seen the video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck, Crump said, but the witnesses in the courtroom saw “up close and personal” a person “being tortured to death.”
“Anybody with a heart would have felt compelled to say something, to say you can’t do this, but Derek Chauvin didn’t seem to have a heart when he kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds,” he added. “And the only question now that remains to most of us is, does America have a heart to make sure that there’s justice for George Floyd?”
Blitzer said it’s hard to ignore that the other police officers present when Floyd died did “basically nothing” to stop what was happening. (RELATED: ‘Perhaps We Skip Trials’: Chelsea Handler Says There Shouldn’t Be Legal Process For Crimes With ‘Audio And Video’ Evidence)
“They aided and abetted in the crime,” Crump responded. “The fact that they did not follow their training, their professionalism to say, hey, our job is to protect life, not to take life. Our job is to help people, not to torture people.”
“But why wasn’t that same level of professionalism and respect given to this unarmed black man who was face down in handcuffs, who was begging, Wolf, was begging, saying, I can’t breathe,” he continued. “He begged for breath 28 times.”
Tuesday was the second day in Chauvin’s trial. Chauvin is being charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for Floyd’s death. Several witnesses who were at the scene the day Floyd died testified before the court.
The prosecution argued that Chauvin is directly responsible for Floyd’s death and killed him by kneeling on his neck, while the defense claimed that Floyd’s death was due to other causes such as heart problems or a drug overdose.