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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.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Prosecutors play 911 call at Derek Chauvin trial

Donald Williams, who witnessed former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd last May, testified at Chauvin's trial Tuesday that he called 911 on the officers at the scene because he believed he "witnessed a murder."

The big picture: Williams took the stand for the second day in the nationally televised trial as prosecutors seek to win a conviction against Chauvin on murder and manslaughter charges.

Derek Chauvin trial opening statements: What to expect

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photos: Chandan Khanna, Stephen Maturen and Michael Siluk/Getty Images

All eyes are on Minneapolis as opening statements in the Derek Chauvin trial begin this morning.

The big picture: Ten months after Floyd's killing rocked the world, many see the trial as a defining moment in our collective reckoning with issues of race and justice.

Mar 29, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

911 dispatcher testimony at Chauvin trial: "Something was not right"

Screenshot via WashPost livestream on YouTube

Minneapolis 911 dispatcher Jena Scurry said she felt a "gut instinct" that "something was not right" as she watched police officers hold George Floyd on the ground with a knee on his neck.

Why it matters: Scurry is the first witness to testify in the nationally televised trial of former officer Derek Chauvin, who faces murder and manslaughter charges.