The defense of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin began presenting its case on Tuesday over the killing of George Floyd.
The first witness for the defense was former Minneapolis police officer Scott Creighton. The defense showed Creighton’s bodycam footage from a traffic stop in May 2019, in which the passenger of the car was Floyd.
In the video, Creighton approaches the passenger side, where the window was down. Creighton asks the passenger, Floyd, to undo his seatbelt: “Go ahead and undo your seatbelt.”
Creighton told the court that he pulled his service weapon when he couldn’t see Floyd’s hands. In the video, Floyd is not fully visible due to the camera angle, though his hands are seen in portions of it.
“Don’t shoot me man, please, I don’t want to be shot,” Floyd can be heard saying.
“I don’t plan on shooting you,” Creighton says in the video. “I’m just saying. Take your time.”
A moment later, Creighton says “Relax!” as his volume rises. “Just undo your seatbelt. … Just keep your hands up where I can see ’em.”
“Keep your hands where I can f****** see ’em!” Creighton shouts. Floyd can be seen raising his hands in the air. “Put your hands on the dash!” Floyd appears to comply after several seconds, though there are moments the angle of the camera does not frame both of his hands.
The officers shout different places to put his hands: the dashboard, then on his head.
“Please don’t shoot me,” Floyd says, appearing worried.
Another officer on the driver’s side can be heard giving other instructions.
“Open your mouth, spit out what you got!” the other officer shouts. “I’m gonna tase you. Spit it out.”
Another officer and Creighton pull Floyd from the car and handcuff him.
“You’re not going to get beat up or nothing if you just follow what we’re asking you to do,” Creighton says.
Floyd says, “I apologize, man, I apologize,” as he’s being handcuffed.
Prosecutor Erin Eldridge questioned Creighton briefly. Creighton acknowledged that Floyd undid his seatbelt and did follow his orders to put his hands in the air.
He also confirmed that officers had given shifting orders for where they wanted Floyd to put his hands, from unbuckling his seatbelt to putting his hands on the dash to putting his hands on his head. Creighton acknowledged that he had his gun drawn while interacting with Floyd.
The defense then called Michelle Moseng, a retired Hennepin County paramedic who was called to respond that day in 2019 to check on Floyd.
Before Creighton and Moseng testified, Judge Peter Cahill instructed the jury that any discussion of drugs is intended to show what the ingestion of opioids may have had on the physical wellbeing of Floyd, and is not to be used to reflect on Floyd’s character.
Moseng said Floyd told her he had taken tablets of Percocet, an opioid used to treat pain, every 20 minutes or so.
“I asked him why, and he said he was addicted,” Moseng said.
She took his vitals, and his blood pressure was 216/160, which is very high.
Moseng said Floyd told her he had a history of hypertension and that he had not been taking his blood pressure medication for months. She said she worked to convince Floyd to go to the hospital.
Eldridge, the prosecutor, said Floyd was monitored at the hospital for 2 hours and then released. She noted that in this incident, Floyd did not have a stroke, did not stop breathing, his heart did not stop, and he did not go into cardiac arrest or a coma.
The prosecution’s line of questioning seemed to stress that Floyd was still alive after a different traffic stop in which he also had drugs in his system.
Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds on Memorial Day last year. Medical experts called by the prosecution have stated that low oxygen levels, caused by the restraint, were the primary cause of his death. Chauvin’s defense lawyer, however, has focused his questioning on whether Floyd’s heart condition and drugs in his system also played a role.
On Monday, George Floyd’s younger brother took the stand to offer testimony on his memories of his brother.
Philonise Floyd described his brother as “a leader in our household,” who was close to his family and loved playing basketball and football.
“He just was like a person everybody loved around the community. He just knew how to make people feel better,” he said.
NPR’s Merrit Kennedy contributed to this report.