The footage of the murder of George Floyd will still send chills down your body, given that the police on the scene were trained for CPR and not to wait for the paramedics. It was an absolute lesson in cruelty that hasn’t stopped.
Imagine being there to see it firsthand and how traumatizing that could be. The trial of the other three former officers, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao, is due to start in June; a young woman testified about what she saw at the scene on Friday. According to Newsweek, Alyssa Funari, 19, felt something was off when she passed by the location. Funari had “parked her car and left it running because of a gut feeling.”
“I instantly knew that he was in distress,” Funari said in court, according to the AP. “He was moving, making facial expressions that he was in pain. He was telling us that he was in pain.”
Funari then took her phone, started recording, and said Floyd was about “about to knock out.”
“I observed that over time he was slowly being less vocal and he was closing his eyes,” she told the court, the Star Tribune reported. “He wasn’t able to tell us he was in pain anymore and he was just accepting it,” she said, adding that she did not see any officers trying to provide aid to Floyd.
Earlier on Friday, Mendota Heights Police Chief Kelly McCarthy testified about training requirements for police officers.
“Once someone is in your custody, they are essentially your baby,” McCarthy said. “You have restricted their freedom of movement … so there are things they can no longer do for themselves, so because you’re the one who took them into custody, you are now responsible for those things.”
Thao’s attorney Robert Paule argued his client was too busy keeping a bystander crowd back to know what was happening. Thao, Lane, and Keung face charges of aiding and abetting the murder and manslaughter.
Despite the protests in the aftermath of Floyd’s murder, police shootings rose to their highest level in seven years in 2021. While there has been some incremental progress made with the guilty verdicts of Derek Chauvin and Kim Porter and places like Minneapolis voting to expand public health services, more work still needs to be done.