Frazier said Chauvin continued to kneel on Floyd while his colleague Tou Thao held the crowd back from about 15 even when one of the spectators identified herself as a firefighter and repeatedly asked to check Floyd’s pulse.
“They definitely got their hands on the mace and we all pulled back,” Frazier told the jury.
Prosecutors asked several witnesses to describe their horror at what they saw and backed up the testimony with several videos, some of which had never been seen before. Many testified of feelings of helplessness when Floyd gasped for air, begged for his life, and eventually went limp and still, his eyes rolling back in his head.
The testimony was apparently intended to show that Chauvin had several options to reflect on his activities and change course.
However, Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson also attempted to provide evidence of anger in the crowd to show that Chauvin and his colleagues were in an increasingly tense and distracting situation, and viewers became increasingly excited.
Earlier Tuesday, one of the spectators, Donald Williams, testified that he called 911 after paramedics took Floyd away “because I believed I was a witness to a murder.” In a recording of the 911 call, Williams could be overheard yelling at the officers: “You are a murderer, brother!”
During the cross-examination, Chauvin’s attorney pointed out that Williams appeared to be getting increasingly angry with the police by mocking Chauvin with “tough guy”, “bum” and other names and then calling Chauvin Expletives, which the defense attorney repeated in court.
Williams initially admitted he was getting angrier but then pulled back, saying he was controlled and professional and advocating Floyd’s life but was not heard.
Williams said he stepped on and off the curb and at one point Thao, who was controlling the crowd, put his hand on Williams’ chest. Williams admitted under questioning that he told Thao he would hit the officers if Thao touched him again.
But witnesses also testified that no bystanders actually bothered the police.
When Frazier was asked by a prosecutor if she had seen violence anywhere on the scene, she replied, “Yes, from the police. From Chauvin and Officer Thao. “
The 45-year-old chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter. He is accused of killing Floyd by handcuffing the 46-year-old black man on the sidewalk for 9 minutes 29 seconds. Floyd was arrested after being accused of trying to hand over a fake $ 20 bill at the grocery store.
The most serious charges against the now dismissed white officer are up to 40 years in prison.
The defense has argued that Chauvin did what his training commanded and that Floyd’s death was not caused by the officer but rather by a combination of illicit drug use, heart disease, high blood pressure and the adrenaline rushing through his body.
Floyd’s death last May, along with the video of the viewer pleading they couldn’t breathe and viewers furiously yelling at police officers to leave him, sparked sometimes violent protests around the world and a reckoning of racism and police brutality in the USA.
On Tuesday, prosecutors played a cell phone video recorded by another viewer, 18-year-old Alyssa Funari, showing viewers yelling and yelling at chauvin after Floyd stopped moving.
The video, which had not been previously released, also showed the woman who said she was a Minneapolis firefighter. Go up to Thao calmly and offer help before ordering her to step back onto the curb.
“I felt like I couldn’t really do anything as a spectator,” said a tearful Funari, adding that she felt like Floyd was failing. “Technically, I could have done something, but physically I couldn’t really do anything … because the supreme power was there at that point,” she explained to an officer holding the crowd back.
Frazier testified that she looks at her father and other black men in her life and ponders “what any of them could have been like”.
“I stay up at night and apologize to George Floyd for not doing more … not saving his life,” she said, adding to Chauvin, “It’s not what I should have done. It is that what he should have done. “