Bystander who pleaded with George Floyd to comply breaks down at murder trial
An eyewitness to George Floyd’s fatal encounter with Minneapolis cops testified Wednesday that he pleaded with Floyd to comply with police because “you can’t win” — as he broke down watching graphic footage of the arrest.
Charles McMillian, 61, burst into uncontrollable sobs while video of the deadly May 25 incident played at the murder trial of ex-cop Derek Chauvin in Floyd’s death — forcing Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill to call for a break in the trial.
The clip from the scene shows McMillian looking on while police wrestle Floyd to the ground and pin him down, while he repeatedly cries out, “Mama, mama, mama.”
“Oh my God,” McMillian whimpered as he bowed his head down and wiped his eyes.
“I feel helpless,” he said, weeping. “I don’t have a mama either. I understand him. My ma died June 25.”
Cahill then called for a short recess.
McMillian is the latest in a series of emotional prosecution witnesses in the case, who were bystanders outside the Cup Foods convenience store when police arrested Floyd for passing a counterfeit $20 bill.
The 61-year-old came on the scene and began pleading with Floyd to comply with cops.
“You ain’t gonna win,” he’s heard in the footage yelling to Floyd. “Get in the car!”
Floyd can be heard in the video, responding: “I can’t.”
In court Wednesday, McMillian said he was trying to help the 46-year-old victim.
“I’m trying to get him to understand that when you make mistakes, once they get you in the car … you’re going to go with them,” McMillian testified under questioning by Minnesota Assistant Attorney General Erin Eldrige. “And I was trying to get him to go.”
“I have had interactions with officers myself and I understand once you get in the car you can’t win,” he added.
He said he was trying to “make the situation easier” for Floyd.
“I’m watching, you know, Mr Floyd,” McMillian said. “He collapsed onto the back seat and I’m trying to get him to understand when you make a mistake, once they get you in cuffs you got to wait there.”
He added: “Once they get you in cuffs you can’t win.”
Chauvin and three other since-fired officers are charged in the case, with Chauvin facing second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest