“I think the one part that stuck with me is the fact that anyone who took the stand said they felt helpless,” said Omar. “It’s a feeling we know very well here in Minneapolis when it comes to police abuse.”
Omar said witnesses reporting on Floyd’s death reminded them of their own experience 20 years ago when “I saw cops dump three dozen cartridges” on a mentally ill member of the city’s Somali community “in the middle of the street”. (Omar was probably referring to the case of Abu Kassim Jeilani, 28, who was shot dead by police on March 10, 2002 while carrying a machete down a city street.)
“It just exposed so much trauma for a lot of us, but we have each other and we will get through it,” she said.
When asked about the possibility of the trial ending in a hanging jury or “not guilty” verdict, she said the Minneapolis community was on the sidelines.
“We have seen that there has been no justice in our church for many years,” she said. “And I think there’s a lot of trust in Attorney General Keith Ellison and the prosecutors in this case. But we’re all excited to see how this process develops.”
She added that it was “terrible” to see Chauvin’s team “bring Floyd to justice” instead of the officer.