Mar 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Off-duty EMT: I was "desperate" to help Floyd but "officers didn't let me into the scene"

An off-duty Minneapolis firefighter and certified EMT testified Tuesday that she was "desperate" to help George Floyd but "the officers didn't let me into the scene."

Driving the news: Genevieve Hansen, who witnessed former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneel on Floyd's neck last May, was among the first witnesses to testify in the trial of Chauvin, who faces murder and manslaughter charges.

What she's saying: Hansen said she identified herself as a Minneapolis firefighter to former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao when she came across the scene.

  • After she identified herself, Hansen said Thao said "something along the lines of, 'If you really are a Minneapolis firefighter, you would know better than to get involved.'"
  • If the officers had allowed her, Hansen said she would have requested additional medical assistance, asked someone to look for a defibrillator, checked Floyd for a pulse and would have started compressions to restore blood flow if she did not find one.
  • But she said she was not able to do that "because the officers didn't let me in to the scene."

Hansen said she repeatedly begged officers, including Chauvin, to check Floyd's pulse to see if he needed CPR after she noticed that Floyd had "an altered level of consciousness."

  • Medical personnel were not at the scene at the time Hansen identified herself and requested that the officers check for a pulse.
  • "I also offered — in my memory — I offered to kind of walk them through that or told them if he doesn't have a pulse you need to start compressions, and that wasn't done either," she added.
  • "He seemed very comfortable with the majority of his weight balanced on top of Mr. Floyd's neck. In my memory, he had his hand in his pocket. He looked so comfortable," Hansen said of former officer Chauvin.
  • An ambulance later arrived and paramedics loaded Floyd onto a stretcher.

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