Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin told a bystander that George Floyd was a “sizeable guy” and “probably on something,” according to a video played in court Wednesday.
Videos played during the trial showed police officers struggling to get Floyd into a police car. Floyd told them he was claustrophobic. Police then put him on the pavement, when Chauvin restrained him by putting his knee on his neck for more than nine minutes.
After Floyd was taken away in an ambulance, 61-year-old Charles McMillian, a bystander who witnessed the incident and recognized the officer from the neighborhood, told Chauvin that he didn’t respect what he had done. (RELATED: ‘They Saw … A Human Being Tortured To Death’: George Floyd’s Family Lawyer Reflects On Intense Witness Testimony At Derek Chauvin Trial)
“That’s one person’s opinion,” Chauvin responded. “We got to control this guy because he’s a sizeable guy.”
“Looks like he was probably on something,” the officer continued.
“I’m just saying, you know, no, I got nothing bad to say about you because you respect me, I’m going to keep respecting you,” McMillian told Chauvin. “You have a good night, you go home to your family.”
McMillian broke down when footage of Floyd’s death was played in the courtroom Wednesday. Footage from a body camera as well as videos showing several other angles of Floyd’s death were shown during the trial. When McMillian became visibly emotional and started sobbing, Prosecutor Erin Eldridge offered him a break and a bottle of water.
Chauvin is facing charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for Floyd’s death. The prosecution has argued that Chauvin putting his knee on Floyd’s neck directly led to his death, while the defense argued that Floyd died of heart problems or an overdose.