Derek Chauvin's murder trial has almost come to an end, and George Floyd's brother has received some words of support from President Biden himself...
Warning: This article contains details that some readers may find upsetting.
George Floyd's brother has opened up about what the president said to him...
And how he's optimistic about the verdict.
It has been almost a year since the now-infamous incident, and Derek Chauvin is finally standing trial.
The highly-anticipated murder trial kicked off in Minneapolis at the Hennepin County Courthouse on March 29th.
According to the Daily Mail, the prosecution started proceedings by playing the horrifying video of the moment Chauvin dug his knee into Floyd's neck as he cried out, "I can't breathe."
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
Special prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told the jury in his opening statement:
"You can believe your eyes. That it's homicide, it's murder."
Over the past couple of weeks, many people have been called forward to testify...
Including a 911 operator who witnessed the ordeal via CCTV.
"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."
New bodycam footage from the events of May 25th was also presented to the jury...
And gave fresh details of the minutes leading up to Floyd's arrest, as well as the moment he was confronted by the police officers.
As reported by BBC News, the court was shown bodycam footage from Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, all of whom are facing aiding and abetting charges.
In the footage, Floyd can be seen sitting behind the wheel of his car, begging the officers not to shoot him.
At one point, one of the officers pulls his gun as Floyd continues to plead with them.
Floyd was visibly very distressed by the presence of the police officers, and can be heard saying:
"Please don't shoot me, please, man… I just lost my mom."
He can then be heard trying to assure the officers that he'll "do anything you tell me to"...
"I'm not a bad guy, man."
Of course, the footage was utterly chilling to watch.
Days on from that revelation, the prosecution called an outside expert witness to testify about Floyd's cause of death, which remains at the center of the ongoing trial.
Prosecutors say that Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck contributed to his death...
While Chauvin's defense argues that Floyd's use of illicit drugs and his underlying medical conditions were the key factors.
Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonary and critical medicine doctor with forty-five years of experience in the field also testified.
His own outlook on Floyd's cause of death could very well change everything.
Dr. Tobin testified that Floyd died due to a low level of oxygen caused by the combination of being handcuffed in the prone position on the ground...
And Chauvin's left knee on his neck and right knee on his back, compromising his ability to breathe.
"Mr. Floyd died from a low level of oxygen, and this caused damage to his brain that we see, and it also caused a PEA arrhythmia that caused his heart to stop."
The jury was shown an image from an officer's body camera video in which Floyd's knuckles are seen pressed against the tire of the squad car while Chauvin's knees are on his neck and back.
Dr. Tobin said that while this gesture would not seem important to most people, it was "extraordinarily significant" to a physiologist.
"This tells you that [Floyd] has used up his resources, and he's now literally trying to breathe with his fingers and knuckles," he said. "He was using his fingers and his knuckles against the street to try and crank up the right side of his chest... it was his only way to try and get air to get into the right lung."
Dr. Tobin explained that people first use their diaphragm and rib cage to breathe, but if these become unavailable then they will try to use the sternum muscle in their neck.
"When those are wasted up, then you're relying on these types of muscles like your fingers to try and stabilize your whole right side," Dr. Tobin said, "because [Floyd's] totally dependent on getting air into the right side."
He added that Floyd's left side was squeezed in a "vise" between the officers on top of him pushing his handcuffs against his back and the "hard asphalt" of the street.
"He was being squashed between the 2 sides," Dr. Tobin said, adding that his ability to expand his left side to breathe was "enormously impaired."
Dr. Tobin also explained that Floyd had tried to use his shoulder to breathe on his left side, which is "one of the very last muscles" people use to breathe.
"It's a very poor way of breathing," Tobin told the jury, "but it's what you have to do when everything else is failing."
The jury was also shown an image where Chauvin's toe was seen lifted off the ground while his knee was on Floyd's neck.
“The toe of his boot is no longer touching the ground, this means that all of his body weight is being directed down at Mr. Floyd’s neck,” testified Dr. Tobin. This visual presented during court says a lot. #DerekChauvin pic.twitter.com/D9xfAGim5V— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) April 8, 2021
This meant 91.5 pounds, half of Chauvin's weight, was directly compressing Floyd's neck at that point, Dr.Tobin said.
Chauvin himself spoke out in court for the first time last week...
But only to invoke his fifth amendment rights.
This means he won't testify at this trial.
And now, as the world waits for the verdict, Floyd's younger brother said President Joe Biden called his family.
"He was just calling," Philonise Floyd said of the Monday call...
"He knows how it is to lose a family member, and he knows the process of what we're going through. So he was just letting us know that he was praying for us, hoping that everything will come out to be OK."
Floyd said he's "optimistic" about the outcome of the trial against Chauvin.
"Me and my family, we pray about it every day," Floyd said. "I just feel that in America, if a Black man can't get justice for this, what can a Black man get justice for?"
He said the case was a "pivotal point."
The state has called George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, as a "spark of life" witness. This type of testimony is allowed in Minnesota to humanize victims in criminal cases and tell the jury what kind of person they were. pic.twitter.com/cbayWDuZxs— Danny Spewak (@DannySpewak) April 12, 2021
Floyd also asked demonstrators and protesters to be "peaceful."
"But at the same time, I can't stop people from doing the things that they're doing because people are in pain," Floyd said...
Adding "they're hurt" about Daunte Wright's tragic death.
The case lies with the jury, but the judge said that recent comments by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif could cause the defense to appeal a verdict if Chauvin is not found guilty.
Maxine Waters is making good trouble.— Jo (@JoJoFromJerz) April 20, 2021
She sees truth.
She’s driven by justice.
And she wants to change the world for the better.
Republicans are making false equivalencies.
They deny truth.
They’re driven by hate.
And they want to change the world for themselves.
Waters urged protesters in Minnesota to "get more confrontational."
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said the move "was the defense's desperate attempt to distract us further."
"The jurors have been given instructions to only pay attention to the evidence that happens in the court of law and not to watch TV or watch the news, and I believe the jurors are following the instructions of the court," Crump said.
"It's only when there's a Black person killed by a police officer that we come up with all these distractions … and say 'Oh, we want to give every opportunity for the officer to be exonerated,' " he said. "And that's why the whole world is on edge."
Stay tuned for updates.