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What Chauvin Said After Getting Off George Floyd's Neck

'We had to control this guy because he's a sizable guy'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2021 12:40 AM CDT
Updated Apr 1, 2021 6:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – "We had to control this guy because he's a sizable guy. It looks like he's probably on something." Those were Derek Chauvin's words moments after George Floyd was carried away in an ambulance from the Minneapolis street corner where Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. Chauvin, who was then a Minneapolis police officer, was responding to a witness who confronted him about not getting up and letting Floyd breathe; he also told the witness, who said he didn't respect what Chauvin had done, "That's one person's opinion." The comments were captured on his body camera and were played at trial Wednesday, where Chauvin faces charges of murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death, CNN reports.

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Charles McMillian, the witness who confronted Chauvin, testified Wednesday and started crying on the stand, leading to a short break in the proceedings. The 61-year-old saw nearly all of the encounter, and was initially urging Floyd to get in the police car as cops tried to arrest him, telling Floyd "you can't win," NPR reports. Floyd was panicking about getting in the car because he was claustrophobic, the AP reports. Then the kneeling began. "When the paramedics arrived for Mr. Floyd, I knew then in my mind and in my instinct, it was over for Mr. Floyd. That he was dead," McMillian testified. (Read more Derek Chauvin stories.)

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