Witnesses testifying at former officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial say former Officer Tou Thao prevented people from helping George Floyd, ABC 10 reports.
In late May, a video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over 8 minutes as he choked to death went viral online. Now Chauvin is facing three charges, including second-degree murder. The trial began on Monday
Former Officer Thao can be seen in the video standing guard as Chauvin kneels on Floyd’s neck. On Tuesday, witnesses at the trial have testified that Thao prevented people from intervening, ABC 7 reports.
Prosecutors questioned 19-year-old Christopher Martin, the cashier who initially believed the $20 bill Floyd gave him was faked. In his testimony, Martin said people had gathered around Floyd and Chauvin as Chauvin knelt on his neck. He said he saw Thao shove one of his co-workers.
Genevieve Hansen, a Minneapolis firefighter who was off-duty when she came upon the scene of Floyd’s arrest, also mentioned that Thao prevented people from intervening in her testimony.
“The officer controlling the scene was requesting that we stay on the sidewalk,” Hansen said, according to ABC 10. “Demanding that we stay on the sidewalk.”
Hansen, after prompting from the prosecution, pointed out the officer she was referring to, Tou Thao.
Hansen said she noticed Floyd was not moving. She also observed that he was not responding to painful stimuli (Chauvin’s knee on his neck), which first-responders often use to assess a person’s level of consciousness.
Hansen can also be heard demanding officers check Floyd’s pulse in a video played for the court, NPR reports. She then began thinking of a way to “gain access to this patient” and cried as she described how the officer’s prevented her from providing medical assistance.
According to Hansen, Thao “said something along the lines of, ‘If you really are a Minneapolis firefighter, you would know better than to get involved.’ “
Hansen continued the rest of her testimony on Wednesday. It is unclear when Thao will be set to testify.
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