Emergency medical professionals who could have possibly saved George Floyd’s life testified Wednesday (Jan. 26) at the federal trial of three former Minneapolis officers on trial for allegedly violating Floyd’s civil rights.
Genevieve Hansen, an off-duty Minneapolis firefighter at the scene on May 25, 2020, testified Wednesday that the officers, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao ignored her pleas to help administer medical aid to the unresponsive Floyd, the Associated Press reported.
“It was just alarming, the amount of people that were on top of one person not moving and handcuffed,” testified Hansen, who said she is a trained emergency medical technician.
According to the AP, the testimony of emergency medical professionals is a key to the prosecutor’s case, as to whether the officers deprived Floyd of medical aid after former officer Derek Chauvin , who was convicted of murder in Floyd’s death, kneeled on his neck, while the other officers helped hold down the handcuffed, facedown Black man.
The three ex-cops are also charged in state court with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death. They are charged in federal court with depriving Floyd of his civil rights while acting under government authority. Meanwhile, Chauvin pleaded guilty in December to a federal civil rights charge.
Hensen testified that she asked Thao to check Floyd’s pulse. He was busy keeping bystanders on the Minneapolis street from intervening, while Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back and Lane held down Floyd’s legs. She recalled Thao telling her that she would know to stand back if she was really a firefighter.
In his defense, Thao’s lawyer pointed out that Hansen told the FBI that she wasn’t sure that Thao knew what was going on with Floyd and the other officers who were behind his back.
On Tuesday (Jan. 25), a 911 dispatcher testified that she would have sent the Fire Department instead of an ambulance if she knew Floyd wasn’t breathing because they could have arrived at the scene quicker.
That apparently caused another missed opportunity possibly to save Floyd. Minneapolis Fire Department Capt. Jeremy Norton testified Wednesday that his team would have immediately started CPR on the scene, adding that starting CPR as soon as possible would have been the best chance to keep Floyd alive.
Instead, an ambulance arrived at the scene first. Paramedic Derek Smith testified Wednesday that he wasn’t told before arriving that Floyd wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. Once he arrived, Smith said he couldn’t find a pulse and Floyd’s pupils were large, which indicated Floyd “was probably deceased.” Floyd was taken in the ambulance a few blocks away from the crowd that gathered at the scene where they attempted to revive him.
In cross-examination, Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, got Smith to confirm that his client was helpful in the ambulance and tried to revive Floyd.