Derek Chauvin is on trial for George Floyd's death

By Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner, Melissa Mahtani, Veronica Rocha and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 10:11 PM ET, Wed March 31, 2021
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1:21 p.m. ET, March 31, 2021

New cell phone video shows moments after George Floyd was pulled out of his car

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New cell phone video from Christopher Belfrey, a Minneapolis resident who was parking his car on the street corner, shows the moments after George Floyd was pulled out of the car by officers.

The video shows two officers standing above Floyd who is handcuffed, sitting on the ground.

Belfrey said he saw Floyd sitting in the driver's seat of a car before officers arrived. He was in his vehicle outside of Cup Foods waiting for his fiancé who was in the store.

"They brought him out, walked him over to the sidewalk and sat him down. One officer then went over to the other people that was in the vehicle and started asking them questions," he said during testimony.

Belfrey said he stopped recording because he started getting "nervous."

"One of the officers kept staring at me while I was recording so I kind of put it down. Then I went to record again and then I was, like, I really don't want any problems so I stopped recording," he said.

He said when he stopped recording, he saw officers take Floyd across the street. Belfrey said he starting driving away when he thought officers were detaining Floyd.

Watch:

1:16 p.m. ET, March 31, 2021

Another eyewitness is now testifying at the Chauvin trial

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The next witness testifying is Christopher Belfrey, a Minneapolis resident who was parking his car on the street corner when he saw officers approach George Floyd's vehicle.

He said he started recording when he saw one of the officers with his gun drawn.

"I saw the officer raise his gun. I started recording," Belfrey said. 

His testimony is ongoing.

1:18 p.m. ET, March 31, 2021

CNN legal analyst Laura Coates: Remember George Floyd is not on trial, Derek Chauvin is

Analysis from CNN's Laura Coates / Written by CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

CNN legal analyst Laura Coates noted during the trial's break that the prosecution's decision to bring up the potential use of a counterfeit bill by George Floyd and whether or not he was under the influence, is a "preemptive" strategy to "take the wind out of the sails of any sort of 'gotcha' moment by the defense who tried to put George Floyd on trial."

Coates reminded viewers that Floyd is not on trial, but former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin and whether or not he used excessive deadly force is.

"Keep in mind here that this sets the stage for why the officers are called, it does not go to the meat of the matter of this trial which is whether the officer, then officer Derek Chauvin, used excessive and deadly force when the threat had been neutralized. And whether that was the potential causal factor in his death. So, all of this sets the scene, sets the stage, of whether there was a counterfeit bill, his own interaction with George Floyd, not relevant because George Floyd remember is not on trial, the witness is not on trial, the other eyewitnesses are not on trial. It is Derek Chauvin," Coates told CNN's John King.

12:46 p.m. ET, March 31, 2021

Store worker testifies that he saw a police officer push his coworker while Chauvin kneeled on Floyd

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Christopher Martin, who was working at Cup Foods on May 25, 2020, testified that he witnessed former officer Tou Thao push his coworker back after he stepped off the sidewalk in front of where Derek Chauvin was kneeling on George Floyd's neck.

As security video from the street corner was played for the jury, Martin narrated the footage which showed one of his coworkers among the crowd watching the incident step off the sidewalk. Thao then approaches the man and pushes him twice.

Martin was watching the incident play out from in front of the Cup Foods while he filmed part of the episode on his phone. The prosecutor asked Martin if at any point he saw his coworker touch the police officer. He replied, "no."

Watch a portion of the security video played for the jury:

12:05 p.m. ET, March 31, 2021

Store worker says Floyd didn't want to come back into the store to discuss the possibly counterfeit bill

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Cup Foods employee Christopher Martin was questioned today at trial about a possibly counterfeit $20 bill that George Floyd used to buy cigarettes inside the store on May 25, 2020.

Martin said that after examining the bill that Floyd gave him, he believed it was a fake. Initially, Martin said, he thought he would just accept the bill and not confront Floyd about it. Martin testified that the store's policy was "if you took a counterfeit bill, you would have to pay for it out of your money."

He said that at first he thought he would just take it and put it on his own "tab." But then Martin decided to go talk to his manager about the fake bill. His manager instructed him to go out to the car that Floyd had gotten into and ask him about the bill. Martin said he went out to Floyd's vehicle twice.

The prosecution played security video from the restaurant across the street that showed Martin and another employee going out to Floyd's car and asking him about the bill.

"I notified them that they needed to come back into the store and the bill was fake and my boss wanted to talk to them," Martin said.

He testified Floyd "just seemed like he didn't want this to happen. He was just kind of like, 'why is this happening?'"

Martin said that Floyd wouldn't agree to come back into the store.

He said that he went back into the store and told his manager that Floyd would not come back into the store. His manager told Martin to go back out to the car and try again.

After Martin and a coworker tried a second time, Floyd still would not agree to come into the store to talk to the manager. "George Floyd did not choose to come into the store," he said.

He said that after he told his manager a second time that George Floyd would not come back into the store, somebody called the police.

Watch:

11:23 a.m. ET, March 31, 2021

Store surveillance video played during Chauvin trial

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New footage from inside Cup Foods – the convenience store on the corner of 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis, where Floyd was taken into custody by police – is being played at the trial this morning.

Store clerk Christopher Martin is on the stand testifying while the video is being played.

In the video, Floyd can be seen inside the store. Martin, who talked to Floyd while he was in the store, testified that he believed Floyd was under the influence.

At one point, the video shows Martin selling Floyd a pack of cigarettes. Martin can be seen in the footage holding up the $20 bill that Floyd gave him for the cigarettes.

"When I saw the bill, I noticed it had a blue pigment to it, kind of like a $100 bill would have. I found that odd. I assumed that it was fake," Martin said.

Martin's testimony is ongoing.

Watch a portion of the surveillance video played during the Chauvin trial:

10:59 a.m. ET, March 31, 2021

Cup Foods employee is now testifying in the Chauvin trial

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Christopher Martin, 19, who was working at Cup Foods on May 25, 2020, is now testifying.

He said that he talked to George Floyd inside the store that day. Martin said that when Floyd came into the store, Martin asked him if he played baseball. Martin said Floyd told him he played football.

Asked what Floyd's condition was like when he was talking to him, Martin said, "When I asked him if he played baseball, he went on to respond to that, but it kind of took him a little long to get to what he was trying to say." 

Martin added, "it would appear that he was high."

He said he sold Floyd cigarettes.

Martin is currently being questioned on the stand by the prosecution.

Watch the moment:

10:37 a.m. ET, March 31, 2021

NOW: Off-duty firefighter who witnessed Floyd's death resumes testimony 

From CNN's Eric Levenson and Aaron Cooper

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The third day of testimony at Derek Chauvin's trial just began. 

Witness testimony will continue with Genevieve Hansen, a trained EMT and Minneapolis firefighter.

Hansen took the stand yesterday, and testified that she witnessed George Floyd's death when she was out for a walk on her day off. She said she wanted to render aid to Floyd and repeatedly asked police to check for a pulse. They refused.

Prosecutors played video footage that featured Hansen pleading with the officers to check Floyd's pulse.

"I tried calm reasoning, I tried to be assertive, I pled and was desperate," she testified. "I was desperate to give help."

She, too, called 911 afterward to report what police had done. Her call was the third such report.

The bystanders' harrowing testimony furthered the prosecution's opening pitch to jurors, which focused on video of the 9 minutes and 29 seconds that Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck.

9:54 a.m. ET, March 31, 2021

Day 3 of testimony in Derek Chauvin's trial starts soon. Here's what we know about the death of George Floyd.

A poster with George Floyd's picture hangs from a security fence outside the Hennepin County Government Center on March 30 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
A poster with George Floyd's picture hangs from a security fence outside the Hennepin County Government Center on March 30 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images

The murder trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin will continue today with further questioning of witnesses.

Chauvin faces of second-degree unintentional murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder for the May 2020 death of George Floyd.

Here's a recap of the case that spurred widespread protests against police brutality and racism:

  • May 25: Floyd, 46, died after pleading for help as Chauvin kneeled on Flloyd’s neck to pin him – unarmed and handcuffed – to the ground. Floyd had been arrested for allegedly using a counterfeit bill at a convenience store, police have said.
  • May 26: It is announced that four Minneapolis police officers have been fired for their involvement in the death of Floyd.
  • May 27: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order activating the Minnesota National Guard after protests and demonstrations erupt throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul.
  • Also on May 27: Surveillance video from outside a Minneapolis restaurant was released and appears to contradict police claims that Floyd resisted arrest before an officer knelt on his neck.
  • May 28 to 29: Several buildings were damaged and the Minneapolis police department’s Third Precinct was set ablaze during protests.
  • May 29: Chauvin is arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, according to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.
  • June 3: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder for the three previously uncharged officers.
  • July 15: Floyd’s family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and the police officers involved in his death.
  • October 21: A Hennepin County judge drops the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin (This charge would later be reinstated due to an appeals court ruling.)
  • March 12: The Minneapolis city council unanimously voted to approve a $27 million settlement with Floyd’s family.