CNN’s Brooke Baldwin choked up live on air Wednesday after watching a witness in the Derek Chauvin trial become emotional while testifying.
Baldwin and CNN analyst Elie Honig were watching the trial during the broadcast of “CNN Newsroom” when witness Charles McMillian broke down crying while watching video evidence of George Floyd’s arrest, prompting the court to recess. (RELATED: ‘Perhaps We Skip Trials’: Chelsea Handler Says There Shouldn’t Be Legal Process For Crimes With ‘Audio And Video’ Evidence)
The segment began once the court recessed after McMillian broke down crying and Baldwin appeared on screen. She immediately became emotional and had a hard time speaking to the camera.
“Forgive me … Elie Honig, save me,” she said, tearing up. “Just watching that, I think that’s the first time we’ve seen the police officer body cam, and hearing this grown man on the ground saying, ‘I can’t breathe’ over and over and over again, and you hear this witness saying, ‘you can’t win.’ He’s in the squad car, ‘you can’t win.’ Your reaction to all of that?”
“Yeah, Brooke, what a powerful moment emotionally and for this jury and for all of us,” Honig said. “First of all, we just talked just before this witness took the stand about how traumatic it can be for people who witness this kind of thing. You see this in witnesses, even those who are utterly blameless like this gentleman.”
He went on to say that the emotional impact of the experience stays with the witnesses and will be with them “the rest of their lives.” He stated that it “was such a searing moment,” and noted that McMillan seemed “confident and calm” on the stand until that last moment. “It was an incredibly true, genuine and really moving, upsetting moment,” he concluded.
Wednesday marked the third day of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial. McMillian, who was one of the witnesses to Floyd’s death in May 2020, was on the stand when the never-before-seen body cam footage from one of the police officers involved in Floyd’s arrest was seen by the public for the first time. McMillian regained his composure during the recess and continued testifying when court proceedings resumed.