Chauvin murder trial: How a fake $20 bill led to George Floyd’s death

The 10-minute video of George Floyd’s arrest is notorious.

What we saw for the first time today was what happened in the last hour of his life.

How a fake $20 bill became a death.

It’s a wretched sequence of events.

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Floyd ‘appeared high’ in store, says witness

CCTV from inside Cup Foods shows George Floyd buying cigarettes with what turned out to be a counterfeit note.

The young store worker who served him said he appeared “high” and described how he felt guilty when he saw events unfold after the police were called.

Body camera footage then revealed what happened next.

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From the moment officers approached Mr Floyd, to the moment his limp body was pulled onto a stretcher and carried into an ambulance.

It’s more powerful than any words a witness could share in court.

Throughout the footage Mr Floyd appears upset, scared, uncooperative but never violent.

The last sympathetic conversation Mr Floyd had with anyone was heard on a recording.

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‘I feel… helpless’: Witness reacts to George Floyd video

Community elder Charles McMillian was passing when he saw Mr Floyd resisting arrest.

As a black man who understood his predicament, he told him: “You can’t win” and tried to encourage him to comply.

Mr Floyd can later be heard shouting “Mama! Mama! Mama! Oh my God. I can’t believe this.”

Mr McMillian dropped his head down in court and sobbed after hearing the recording.

“I feel helpless,” he explained. “I understand him.”

The court was forced to take a recess after a juror stood up and waved her hand in the middle of Mr McMillian’s testimony.

The recordings alone have been agonising viewing.

Almost every witness who has given evidence so far has shed tears in court.

The common themes in their testimony are a sense of helplessness and guilt.

The prosecution is seeking to show Mr Floyd may have taken drugs. He may have used a fake $20 bill. But he didn’t deserve to die.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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