On Tuesday, several witnesses appeared in the George Floyd murder trial, where former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin is accused of murdering the handcuffed Black man by refusing to remove his knee from his throat.
Darnella Frazier, the woman who shot the now-viral cellphone video of the incident that triggered nationwide demonstrations against racial injustice and police brutality, testified that the police officer remained unmoved as bystanders pleaded with him to remove his knee, giving them a "blank," "heartless" look.
"He didn't seem to mind. He appeared unconcerned with what we were doing." The tearful 18-year-old, who was one of several witnesses testifying on Tuesday, said as much.
The trial will last for four weeks.
Another bystander, firefighter Genevieve Hansen, was moved to tears as she recounted how she offered medical help but was turned down. Another bystander, Alyssa Funari, 18, captured a video of a Minneapolis firefighter approaching former police officer Tou Thao to provide assistance before being escorted back to the sidewalk.
"A man was killed," Hansen said, adding that she had emergency medical technician experience. "To the best of my ability, I would have been able to offer medical assistance. And that right was denied to this individual."
The defense cites increased pressure.
Eric Nelson, Chauvin's lawyer, argued that the retired cop did what he was taught to do. Floyd's death, according to the prosecution, was caused by a variety of factors, including illicit drug use, heart disease, high blood pressure, and adrenaline.
The prosecution also tried to portray the officers as being in a tense position as the crowd grew angrier.
When the prosecutor asked if she saw any abuse on the scene, Frazier replied: "The police, to be sure. Officer Thao, as well as Chauvin."
What exactly is the case about?
Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter after pinning Floyd to the ground for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, according to prosecutors. After being convicted of trying to move a counterfeit $20 bill at a local convenience store, the Black man was arrested.
Last year, his death ignited a global uproar against structural racial discrimination.
Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, two other former police officers involved in the arrest, will stand trial separately later this year.