Derek Chauvin Trial: Firefighter Testifies She Was 'Desperate' to Help George Floyd

Firefighter Genevieve Hansen wipes her eyes at the murder trial of Derek Chauvin.
Minneapolis firefighter Genevieve Hansen wipes away tears as she testifies in murder trial of Derek Chauvin.Pool

Minneapolis firefighter Genevieve Hansen, who was heard on video repeatedly asking officers to take George Floyd's pulse, testified she was "desperate" to help him as Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck.

A Minneapolis firefighter testified she was "desperate" to help George Floyd as ex-cop Derek Chauvin kneeled on the man's neck while he cried for help.

Genevieve Hansen, who was off-duty last year when she happened upon the scene of several officers restraining Floyd in the street, told jurors on Tuesday she repeatedly asked police to take Floyd's pulse and pleaded with them to let her provide medical help.

"There was a man being killed," she said, testifying in her dress uniform. "I would have been able to provide medical attention to the best of my abilities. And this human was denied that right."

Like many witnesses during Tuesday's tumultuous hearing, Hansen testified through tears, at times bristling under questions from a defense attorney. Chauvin, who is white, is seen in disturbing bystander video kneeling on the neck of the unarmed Black man.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He has pleaded not guilty and his lawyer claims Chauvin acted within department policies.

Hansen said officers on the scene denied her access to Floyd, who was clearly struggling to breathe while bystanders screamed and pleaded for Chauvin to get off his neck.

Under cross-examination, defense attorney Eric Nelson zeroed in on the crowd's behavior, asking Hansen if she became more frustrated and upset as the incident continued to unfold. 

"More desperate," Hansen replied.

In court, Nelson has said his client became distracted by the crowd's anger and feared for his safety. Nelson also claimed Floyd's death was related to drugs in his system and a medical condition.

Nelson asked Hansen if bystanders were growing increasingly angrier.

"I don't know if you've ever seen anybody be killed, but it's upsetting," Hansen replied.

In a later tense exchange with the defense attorney, during which Hansen complained she hadn't been allowed to finish her answer, Judge Peter Cahill stepped in and admonished the witness.

"Do not argue with the court, do not argue with counsel," Cahill said.

Hansen's testimony capped a day of distraught witnesses saying what they saw last May left them feeling sad, angry and frustrated.

Darnella Frazier, 18, said in court that Chauvin gave bystanders a "cold" and "heartless" stare as he kneeled on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes.

 "He didn't care. It seemed as if he didn't care what we were saying," said the teen, who shot the viral video of Floyd's detention. 

"I stay up at night apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more ... not saving his life," she said. But "it's not what I should have done, it's what he should have done," she said, referring to Chauvin.

A 9-year-old child, identified as Frazier's cousin, also testified about what she saw that day. She said she felt "sad and mad" about Floyd's death. She was not cross-examined by the defense.