Mar 29, 2021 - Politics
911 dispatcher testimony at Chauvin trial: "Something was not right"
Screenshot via WashPost livestream on YouTube
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.

  • "I first asked if the screens were frozen," Scurry said today. "I was told that it was not frozen."

Audio from her call with a police supervisory sergeant, to notify him of police use of force per department rules, was played in court today.

  • "[Y]ou can call me a snitch if you want to, but we have the cameras up," she told the sergeant, who didn't immediately respond to the scene, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported last June.
  • "I don't know if they had to use force or not, but they got something out of the back of the squad, and all of them sat on this man, so I don't know if they needed you or not, but they haven't said anything to me yet," she said.

Between the lines: "Chauvin’s trial is being livestreamed, a first in Minnesota, by order of the judge and over the objections of the prosecution," AP notes.

  • "Judge Peter Cahill ordered that cameras be allowed largely because of the pandemic and the required social distancing that meant there would be almost no room for spectators in the courtroom."

The bottom line: Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell said "the state will prove that Chauvin's conduct was a 'substantial cause' of Floyd's death and inflicted 'without regard for Mr. Floyd's life,'" the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes.

  • Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson countered by arguing that Chauvin “did exactly what he was trained to do over the course of his 19-year career.”
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