The former convenience store employee who told his manager about George Floyd's fake $20 bill last May has testified in court this week as the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin begins.
He described feeling "disbelief" and "guilt" as he watched Floyd's encounter.
Scroll on to hear his testimony for yourself...
Now, the world was forever changed on May 25th, 2020, when George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed by police officers.
Footage of his horrifying death spread like wildfire online, and triggered an overwhelming level of global outrage.
The forty-six-year-old father was arrested and forced to the ground in Minneapolis...
Where former police officer, Derek Chauvin, proceeded to kneel on his neck, while 3 other officers knelt on his back.
After nearly ten minutes, Floyd was completely unresponsive. An ambulance arrived and took the unconscious man to the hospital but, devastatingly, he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
This kind of unjust police brutality towards Black men and women has been happening for centuries now...
But Floyd's death sparked an outrage like never before.
The increased awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement was ultimately triggered by the protestors...
And still, to this very day, justice is being demanded not only for George Floyd, but also for so many other Black people who have died at the hands of racism and law enforcement.
The day after Floyd's death, it was announced that all 4 officers had been fired...
via: GettyAnd after an overwhelming surge of anger and protest, the officers were arrested just days later.
Derek Chauvin, the man who had knelt on George's neck, was arrested and charged with murder in the third degree and manslaughter.
His bond was set at $50,000 before he faced an upgraded charge of second-degree murder, according to Minnesota Senator, Amy Klobuchar.
And now, less than a year after Floyd's death, Derek Chauvin is finally facing trial.
His charge for third-degree murder has been reinstated, which comes after a Court of Appeals ruling asked Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill to reconsider restoring the charge based on its precedent in a separate case.
The additional charges now mean that prosecutors have another route to convict him.
Speaking to Buzzfeed, Ted Sampsell-Jones, a Mitchell Hamline School of Law professor said:
"For example, if the jurors were divided about second-degree murder, they could settle on third-degree murder as a compromise."
If convicted of the most serious count, Chauvin could face up to forty years in prison...
8 minutes and 46 seconds is way too long to have your knee on a human being's neck. 1 minute is too long.— ReallyAmerican.com 🇺🇸 (@ReallyAmerican1) March 29, 2021
It should be illegal.
Derek Chauvin should be convicted of murder.
But if he's found guilty of manslaughter, he faces a maximum penalty of ten years; though he could be free within 5.
Well, Chauvin's trial kicked off earlier this week in Minneapolis at the Hennepin County Courthouse.
According to the Daily Mail, the prosecution started by playing the horrifying video of the moment the former cop dug his knee into Floyd's neck as he cried out, "I can't breathe."
Special prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told the jury in his opening statement:
As the trial of Derek Chauvin begins, my thoughts are with the Floyd family and every American impacted by racist police brutality collectively reliving this trauma today. May justice be served.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 30, 2021
"You can believe your eyes. That it's homicide, it's murder."
They've begun speaking with those testifying in the case, including the 911 operator who took the stand to give evidence.
"You're going to learn that there was a 911 dispatcher. Her name is Jena Scurry," Blackwell told the jury. "There was a fixed police camera that was trained on this particular scene. She could see through the camera what was going on."
Scurry witnessed the entire ordeal...
And was the one to call the police on the police.
Fearing that Chauvin and the 3 other officers who stood by were taking things too far, Scurry called Minneapolis Sgt. David Pleoger, who oversaw the officers involved in the arrest in progress.
"You will learn that what she saw was so unusual and, for her, so disturbing that she did something that she had never done in her career."
As prosecutors played the police camera video of Floyd on the ground, Scurry explained:
"My instincts were telling me something was wrong. It was a gut instinct of the incident: Something is not going right. Whether it be they needed more assistance. Just something wasn't right."
Scurry couldn't remember exactly when she made the call, but she said she became uncomfortable after an "extended period of time."
The defense pointed out that it took awhile for Scurry to call Chauvin's sergeant - almost thirty minutes from when she first received the 911 call about Floyd - and that she seemed concerned about the police vehicle "rocking bath and forth" when Floyd was inside.
And now, the teen who told his manager of Floyd's fake $20 bill has testified.
Testifying on the third day of the trial, Christopher Martin, nineteen, described feeling "disbelief" and "guilt" as he watched Floyd's police encounter.
Surveillance from inside the Cup Foods store in Minneapolis was played to jurors and showed Floyd interacting with staff and customers for around 10 minutes before being served at the counter by Martin.
Martin described Floyd as "very friendly, approachable, talkative... just seemed to be having an average Memorial Day, just living his life, but he did seem high."
Martin said he immediately knew the $20 that Floyd gave him was fake due to it having a "blue pigment," but didn't want to call him on it.
Christopher Martin, the Cup Foods cashier who sold George Floyd cigarettes and handled the alleged fake $20 bill, testified that his pay would have been docked by his manager for accepting a fake bill and that his manager made him go talk to Floyd instead of going out himself.— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) March 31, 2021
Despite store policy stating that if an employee accepted a fake bill, the amount would be taken out of their paycheck.
"I took it anyways and I was planning to just put it on my tab until I second-guessed myself and as you can see from the video I kept examining it and then I told my manager," he said.
His manager then instructed him to go outside to Mr Floyd's car and tell him to come back to the store, but Martin and a coworker were unsuccessful in persuading Floyd.
He told the court he offered to pay the bill himself but his manager refused and ordered he try to convince Floyd again.
And when it didn't work the second time, Martin said his manager asked another coworker to call 911.
After police arrived, Martin watched as the situation escalated.
"I saw people yelling and screaming," he said. "I saw Derek [Chauvin] with his knee on George [Floyd]'s neck on the ground."
Martin described ringing his mother to tell her not to come outside before he started recording the incident, which he later deleted.
Christopher Martin now describing the scene outside Cup Foods.— Tasneem N (@TasneemN) March 31, 2021
He said the first thing he did was to call his mom and tell her not to come outside because they lived right above Cup Foods. Then he began recording the scene. pic.twitter.com/NJLWggtV3m
He explained he saw one officer push his coworker, who was yelling at them to check Floyd's pulse and to see if he was okay.
"If I would have just not taken the bill, this could have been avoided," Martin told the court.
Emotional takeaway from the morning is that another witness - 19 year old Christopher Martin - feels guilty that if he had done something differently, George Floyd might be alive. We heard that from Darnella Frazier and firefighter Genevieve Hansen who tried to help.— Chris Jansing (@ChrisJansing) March 31, 2021
He also explained that following Floyd's death, he quit his job at the store as he no longer felt "safe."
The trial continues.
Make sure to stay posted for further updates.