Updated: 3:54 PM PDT, March 29, 2021
The first witness in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial was a 911 dispatcher who called a supervisor after watching officers’ actions during George Floyd’s arrest on a live surveillance feed. “You can call me a snitch if you want,” Jena Scurry told the supervisor before detailing what she saw.
“All of them sat on this man, so I don’t know if they needed to or not.”
Scurry explained in court on Monday that it was “out of the scope” of her duties to call a sergeant about use of force during arrests.
The harrowing video shot by an eyewitness was also shown to the jury in the opening minutes of Chauvin’s trial in Minneapolis. The video played for 9 minutes and 29 seconds as Chauvin watched impassively. The jury is expected to see it several more times.
Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell gave a graphic description of Floyd’s last moments of life.
“Mr. Derek Chauvin betrayed his badge when he used excessive and unreasonable force upon the body of Mr. George Floyd. That he put his knees on his neck and his back, grinding and crushing him until the very breath — no ladies and gentlemen — until the very life was squeezed out of him,” Blackwell said.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson told the jury that Chauvin “did exactly what he had been trained to do over the course of his 19-year career.”
“The use of force is not attractive, but it is a necessary component of police work,” Nelson continued.
He also claimed that Floyd’s cause of death was the drugs that Floyd supposedly took before police arrived.
Before the trial began, Floyd’s family members and civil rights leaders knelt down outside the courthouse for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to signify the time that Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck during the arrest.