Court TV via AP, Pool / AP
Genevieve Hansen expected Monday, May 25, to be a peaceful day.
Here’s what she told the jury on Tuesday in the murder trial of former officer Derek Chauvin accused of murdering George Floyd last year.
Instead, while strolling home off-duty from a community park, I heard a woman shout that the police were killing the handcuffed black man, face down in the street.
Hansen, an emergency medical technician and firefighter in Minneapolis, testified that upon entering the scene, she got closer to the officers hanging Floyd on the asphalt and introduced herself as the first responder.
In a video shown to the court, Hansen was heard asking officers to check his pulse.
“I have already rated it [Floyd] He was in an altered state of consciousness. What I needed to know was if he had a pulse. “
She described how Floyd was lying motionless: “He wasn’t moving, and he was tied. Three big men put all their weight on someone too much,” she said. “The first thing that worried me was that his face was smashed to the ground. It’s puffy. It looked puffy to me.”
Hansen said that instead of letting her help, then Officer Tu Thao said “something along the lines of the following:” If you really were a Minneapolis firefighter, you’d know better than participate. “
Her voice began to tremble as she recalled the impotence that so plagued her that Tao and the other officers had prevented her from providing the kind of medical care she had been trained to provide. “I got there and was able to provide medical help. That’s exactly what I should have done.”
She collapsed moments later when she described how “she was completely sad”.
When asked about changing her tone in the video taken on the day of the murder, she explained that she initially addressed the officers in a calm and reasonable manner. But as the minutes passed, and she realized that Floyd might have released his bladder from unconsciousness or death, she began to raise her voice and use vulgar language.
“Because I was in desperate need of help. … because there was a man getting killed and … if I had access to a similar call, I would have been able to provide medical care to the best of my abilities. And this person was denied that.” .
Prosecutors also played the sound of the 911 call that Hansen made moments after Floyd was loaded into an ambulance.
“Hey. I’m on 38th Street and Chicago, and I’ve literally seen police officers not pounding and do nothing to save a man, and I’m myself a first responder, and literally have it on video.” Hansen said on the call.
She told the court that she regretted her waiting so long to call, adding that she should have acted more quickly.
“I should have called 911 right away but I didn’t and when things calmed down I realized that I wanted them to know what was going on. I basically wanted to report it,” she said.
During interrogation, defense attorney Eric Nelson questioned Hansen’s training and discrepancies between the data she had previously provided to law enforcement and the testimony she had just provided. He also reminded her that she could definitely not testify that the two officers who were helping to restrain Floyd did not measure his pulse because she could not see them from her point of view as she was asked to stand on the sidewalk by Thaw.
Nelson indicated that Hansen’s training as an EMT was not equated with training a paramedic. He also posed a series of questions that forced her to admit that she was not aware of the timeline of time the officers called for medical assistance and indicated that they were already on their way when she arrived at the scene.
He also tried to convince her that if she tried to put out a fire with an “angry crowd” around her, she would be distracted. But Hansen refused.
“Have you ever had a citizen started yelling at you while putting out a fire? … What if there were 12 people shouting at you and telling you that you were doing it wrong? Would you not be distracted by that?” Nelson asked.
Hansen replied, “As I said, I know my job and I’m confident in my job, what I’m doing, what I need to do and my training. So I will continue to do so.”
In one of the most tense conversations, Nelson asked Hansen if she was upset and upset at the scene.
She replied, “I don’t know if you’ve seen anyone killed, but this is annoying.”
That prompted Judge Peter Cahill to direct her to answer the specific question.
But Hansen was further enraged by Nelson’s questions and the second day of the trial ended with Cahill rebuking Hansen for being controversial.
“I advise you not to argue with the attorney and the court,” said Cahill of the court. “You will not argue with the court.”