MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) – A cashier who was one of the last people to speak with George Floyd before his deadly arrest last May testified at Derek Chauvin’s murder trial in Minneapolis on Wednesday that Floyd appeared to be high on drugs but was able to make friendly conversation.
Chauvin, who is white, was fired by the city’s police department the day after he was captured on video with his knee on the neck of Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs. He has pled not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges, and a central dispute in the case is his lawyers’ contention that Floyd’s death, which was ruled a homicide, was instead a drug overdose.
The jury watched video on Wednesday that showed a cheerful-looking Floyd in his final minutes inside a grocery store before he ended up below Chauvin on the road outside, a scene that the cashier, Christopher Martin, told the jury he watched in disbelief.
Several other eyewitnesses, one a child of nine, have spent the last two days describing to the jury the shock of watching Floyd’s struggle beneath Chauvin as bystanders screamed at police that Floyd was falling unconscious. Video footage of the arrest on May 25, 2020, sparked global protests decrying police brutality against Black people.