EMT Genevieve Hansen gave powerful testimony in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial. We have five things to know about the witness to George Floyd’s death.
Minneapolis firefighter Genevieve Hansen claims she was forced to stand by helplessly as Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd‘s neck for over eight minutes in May 2020 until he died. She gave her recollections of the horrific incident during the second day of Chauvin’s trial on Mar. 30, where he is facing charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of unarmed Floyd. The videotaped death of Floyd — who was Black — at the hands of White police officer Chauvin, 45, set off protests around the world and re-fueled the Black Lives Matter movement. We have five things to know about Genevieve.
Genevieve was off duty at the time of Floyd’s arrest
The 27-year-old testified that she was out for a walk on May 25, 2020 when she saw a commotion and heard a woman “screaming that they were killing him.” Genevieve said that she witnessed “a handcuffed man who was not moving with officers with their whole body weight on their back and a crowd that was stressed out.” Four officers had swarmed Floyd, pinning his body to the ground after taking him into custody for suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill a deli.
Genevieve identified herself to officers as a firefighter and offered medical assistance
The EMT testified that she desperately tried to intervene to help Floyd, as his face was “puffy and swollen, which would happen if you were putting a grown man’s weight on someone’s neck.” She told the court, “I could have given medical assistance, and that’s exactly what I should have done,” but she was unable to “because the officers didn’t let [her] on the scene.” Genevieve also claimed one of the officers said “something along the lines of ‘If you really are a Minneapolis firefighter, you would know better than to get involved.’” She added in her testimony, “There was a man being killed… I would have been able to provide medical attention to the best of my abilities. And, this human was denied that right” of Floyd.
Minneapolis firefighter Genevieve Clara Hansen becomes emotional testifying about cops impeded her efforts to try to save George Floyd's life pic.twitter.com/sXi8cDoaTe
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 30, 2021
Genevieve said that she watched George Floyd “get killed”by the officers
After explaining how the officers refused to let her render aid to Floyd, “There was no point in trying to reason with them anymore because they had just killed somebody,” she responded to a defense question. Genevieve later added, “I don’t know if you’ve seen anyone get killed but it’s upsetting.”
Genevieve filmed the officers kneeling on George Floyd
She testified that she took video on her phone of the incident “because memories of witnesses are never going to be as a good as a video.” The video was played for jurors before Genevieve took the stand. Chauvin’s attorney tried to imply she could have incorrectly remembered things by asking, “Stress can impact our memories, correct?” and Hansen perfectly replied, “Absolutely. That’s why it’s a good thing we have video.”
Chauvin defense: “Some people were swearing.”
Firefighter Genevieve Hansen: “Absolutely.”
Defense: “And would you describe other people's demeanors as upset or angry?”
Hansen: “I don't know if you've seen anybody be killed, but it's upsetting.” pic.twitter.com/Mwu0zvJFf3
— Tony Webster (@webster) March 30, 2021
Genevieve called 911 about the incident
The tape was played in court where she told the 911 dispatcher, “I’m on the block of 38th and Chicago and I literally watched police officers not take a pulse and not do anything to save a man and I am a first responder myself and I literally have it on video camera” Hansen was heard saying. She testified that “I should have called 911 immediately but didn’t. When things calmed down I realized I wanted them to know what was going on and to basically report it.”