Derek Chauvin is on trial for George Floyd's death

By Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner, Melissa Mahtani, Veronica Rocha and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 0211 GMT (1011 HKT) April 1, 2021
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6:35 p.m. ET, March 31, 2021

It was another emotional day in the trial of Derek Chauvin. Here's what happened today in court.

A poster with George Floyd's picture and a sign reads that "I Can't Breathe" hang from a security fence outside the Hennepin County Government Center on March 31, in Minneapolis.
A poster with George Floyd's picture and a sign reads that "I Can't Breathe" hang from a security fence outside the Hennepin County Government Center on March 31, in Minneapolis. Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images

Body-camera footage from Minneapolis police officers showed the jury what witnesses on the scene in May 2020 have been describing during the trial of former officer Derek Chauvin.

Here's what happened today in Minneapolis:

Body-camera footage

Videos played in court Wednesday included the first publicly heard defense of Chauvin’s actions, in his own words. 

Chauvin is heard explaining his actions, saying, “We got to control this guy because he’s a sizable guy, and it looks like he is probably on something."

The video showed George Floyd crying and begging officers to "please don't shoot me" as they first approached him in a car. When he was taken outside, Floyd told the officer that he "didn't know what was going on" and that he was "scared as f**k."

A witness is also heard on the body-camera footage pleading with officers to check his pulse as Floyd was face down on the pavement.

"Bro, he's not responsive right now," one male witness nearby can be heard yelling to officers off-camera. "Check his pulse, check his pulse."

"He's not moving," one female witness can also be heard yelling.

Emotional testimony

Charles McMillian, a man who watched officers detain Floyd, said he was telling Floyd to comply with police as they were trying to get him into the police car, saying "you can't win."

McMillian broke down on the stand during his testimony after watching graphic footage of Floyd's arrest. The video showed officers trying to get Floyd into a squad car, then struggling with the police. Floyd can be heard in the footage saying he's "claustrophobic" and struggling to breathe.

McMillian was one of the first bystanders on the scene and is heard on body-camera footage telling officers that Floyd "can't breathe."

Later, McMillian told Chauvin, "I don't respect what you did." McMillian also testified that he had seen Chauvin in South Minneapolis five days before the incident 

Cell phone video

Christopher Belfrey, a Minneapolis resident who was parking his car on the street corner when he saw officers approach a vehicle Floyd was in, said he shot cell phone video that showed Floyd handcuffed and sitting on the ground outside after officers pulled him from the car.

Belfrey said he started recording when he saw one of the officers draw his gun.

The store employee

Christopher Martin, who was working at Cup Foods when the incident happened, said he talked to Floyd while he was in the store, and testified that he believed Floyd was under the influence.

He said he sold Floyd cigarettes even though he could tell the $20 bill he was using was fake. When he told his manager about the bill, the manager instructed him to go out to Floyd's car and try to get him to come back into the store twice. When Floyd did not want to come back in, Martin said the manager told another employee to call the police.

As security video from the street corner was played for the jury, Martin narrated the footage which showed one of his coworkers among the crowd watching the incident step off the sidewalk.

5:38 p.m. ET, March 31, 2021

Trial of Derek Chauvin adjourns for the day

The trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin has adjourned for the day.

The trial will resume Thursday at 9:15 a.m. local time.

5:17 p.m. ET, March 31, 2021

Witnesses heard pleading with officers to check Floyd's pulse as they detained him

A witness to the arrest of George Floyd could be heard on police body-camera footage pleading with officers to check his pulse as he was face down on the pavement.

"Bro, he's not responsive right now," one male witness nearby can be heard yelling to officers off-camera. "Check his pulse, check his pulse."

"He's not moving," one female witness can also be heard yelling.

Police body-camera footage is being shown in court during today's trial proceedings.

5:09 p.m. ET, March 31, 2021

Floyd tells officers he didn't understand what was going on after he is pulled from the car

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George Floyd told officers that he didn't want any problems and didn't understand what was going on when officers pulled him out of the car, according to body-camera footage from Minneapolis Police officer J. Alexander Kueng.

Here is the exchange when Floyd is handcuffed and sitting against the wall outside:

Floyd: I don't want no problems. I didn't do nothing.
Kueng: Do you know why we're here?
Floyd: Why?
Kueng: We're here because it sounds like you gave a fake bill to the individuals in there. Do you understand that?
Floyd: Yes.
Kueng: Do you know why we pulled you out of the car? Because you were not listening to anything we told you.
Floyd: I didn't know what was going on.
Kueng: You listen to us and we'll tell you what's going on. When you're moving around like that, that makes us think there's a lot more going on that we need to know.

Kueng tells Floyd that he is going to put him in the squad car and you can hear officers ask if he is "on something" as they start to walk to the other side of the street. Floyd answers that he's "not on nothing."

4:49 p.m. ET, March 31, 2021

Floyd told officers he was scared as they restrained him

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Police body-camera footage aired during the trial of former officer Derek Chauvin shows George Floyd pleading for his life while officers arrested him in May 2020.

"I'm scared as f**k," Floyd said in footage aired today during the trial.

"I'm not a bad guy," Floyd said. "Please officer."

As Floyd was taken to the ground by the officers, he can be heard yelling out "momma," "momma I love you," and "tell my kids I love them."

4:48 p.m. ET, March 31, 2021

Body-cam footage shows Floyd pleading with officers: "Please don't shoot me"

Body-camera footage aired today during the trial of former officer Derek Chauvin showed George Floyd crying and begging officers to "please don't shoot me" as they first approached him in a car in May 2020.

The video was from former officer Thomas Lane's body camera.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Floyd said could be heard saying right after Lane approached a car Floyd was sitting in.

"Please don't shoot me," Floyd added, while crying. "Please don't shoot me, Mr. Officer."
6:05 p.m. ET, March 31, 2021

Footage from Derek Chauvin's body cam includes him defending his actions. Here's what he said.

From CNN’s Aaron Cooper in Minneapolis

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Video played in court Wednesday includes the first publicly heard defense of Derek Chauvin’s actions, in his own words. 

Prosecution witness Charles McMillian testified he confronted the then-Minneapolis police officer shortly after George Floyd was taken away in an ambulance, and told him “I don’t respect what you did.”  

On the video from Chauvin’s body camera, seen for the first time publicly, he explains why he restrained Floyd.

“We got to control this guy because he’s a sizable guy, and it looks like he is probably on something,” Chauvin told McMillian on the recording. 

Earlier, McMillian described urging Floyd to cooperate with officers as they worked to put him a police car. 

“Get in the car because you can’t win something of that nature,” McMillian says he told Floyd in an effort to make the situation easier.  

Prosecutor Erin Eldridge played police body camera video of Floyd apparently struggling as officers tried to put him in the backset of the police car.  

Additional video showed McMillian telling the officers that putting a knee on Floyd’s neck was not right while still encouraging Floyd to comply and get in the car.

McMillian didn’t see the officers give Floyd any medical attention or get off of him before the ambulance arrived.  

The defense did not cross examine McMillian. 

Watch here:

4:02 p.m. ET, March 31, 2021

A Minneapolis police lieutenant is now testifying

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The prosecution's next witness is Minneapolis police lieutenant James Rugel.

He manages the police department's business technology unit. He said his team manages the police department's technology equipment, software, and systems that officers use on patrol and investigations.

3:33 p.m. ET, March 31, 2021

Witness says he spoke to Chauvin after Floyd was taken in ambulance

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

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A witness who was one of the first bystanders on the scene said he interacted with then officer Derek Chauvin because he felt that what he watched was "wrong."

He said that he felt that it was important for him to tell Chauvin that.

According his testimony, the witness had also told Chauvin, "I don't respect what you did."