Mar 31, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Cashier says he felt "guilt" for accepting George Floyd's fake bill

The 19-year-old Cup Foods cashier who accepted George Floyd's counterfeit bill testified at former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's murder trial Wednesday that if he had "just not taken the bill, this could have been avoided."

Between the lines: Christopher Martin's words echo a recurring sentiment expressed by witnesses called to the stand, several of whom were minors when they watched Floyd die in front of them.

  • "It's been nights I've stayed up apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life," the 17-year-old who videotaped the encounter told jurors Tuesday, her voice shaking.

Driving the news: Cashier Christopher Martin testified that an associate of Floyd came into the store earlier in the day and tried to use a counterfeit bill, which Martin refused to accept.

  • When Floyd came in later, Martin said that he appeared to be high and interacted with other customers before trying to pay for a pack of cigarettes with a $20 bill.
  • Martin said that he immediately noticed that the bill appeared to be fake, but did not say anything. "The other person that had come in, it kind of seemed like he was trying to scheme, like he knew it was a fake bill and he was trying to get over. I thought George didn't really know it was a fake bill, so I thought I would be doing him a favor," Martin said.
  • After Floyd left, Martin told his manager, who instructed him to bring Floyd back to the store to resolve the matter. Floyd refused, leading the manager to call the police.

Minutes later, Floyd was handcuffed by police and on the ground. Martin said he was caught in "disbelief and then guilt" as he watched Chauvin kneel on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes.

  • Martin testified that he eventually left Cup Foods because he "did not feel safe."
  • Prosecutors are now seeking Chauvin's conviction on murder and manslaughter charges.

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