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George Floyd’s sister said Monday that she can’t bear to watch the video of her brother’s death — the one expected to take center stage at the trial for the Minneapolis cop charged with his murder.
“I would be in an asylum if I watched that video,” LaTonya Floyd, 52, told “Good Morning Britain” of the footage that is expected to be introduced early in ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin’s trial when it begins Monday.
“It’s unavoidable to hear things,” Floyd’s older sister told the UK show of the bystander video last May of Floyd’s fatal knee-on-the-neck arrest as he cried “I can’t breathe,” sparking global protests.
“I could be watching a soap opera on TV and all of a sudden a broadcast comes on and I see this man down on his knee and my brother … I just turn really quick and run out of the room,” she said.
“There’s no way in God’s earth I can watch something like that — my baby brother and there’s nothing I can do about it.
“I would never watch that,” she told the show.
The footage seen around the world showed her handcuffed 46-year-old brother crying “I can’t breathe” as the white officer pressed his knee against his neck for nearly nine minutes, even as Floyd went limp.
Legal experts expect the video to be played early in the trial of Chauvin, who is charged with unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter — maybe even in the prosecution’s opening statement.
“For the prosecution, the key part of the case is eight minutes and 46 seconds of videotape, and they will build everything else around it,” former prosecutor Jack Rice told the Wall Street Journal.
Minneapolis defense attorney Mike Brandt, who has followed the case, said that the footage “sets the stage for anything to follow.”
“No matter what happens after that, we’re done,” he told The Associated Press.
Floyd’s sister, meanwhile, noted how her brother’s death “sparked a major movement,” but when told that “black lives matter,” LaTonya spoke over the interviewer to twice insist, “All lives matter.”
She said that her emotions were swinging “between scared and happy” in the run-up to the trial.
“The scary thing is we really don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said. ” And I’m happy because justice will prevail. It’s just intense.”
She said the whole family has been through “hell.”
“We don’t get to see him, we don’t get to hold him, to talk to him. It’s so painful,” she said, saying she hopes the trial is “the beginning of justice for my family.”
The trial is expected to last about four weeks at the courthouse in downtown Minneapolis, which has been fortified with concrete barriers, fencing and barbed and razor wire. City and state leaders are determined to prevent a repeat of damaging riots that followed Floyd’s death, and National Guard troops have already been mobilized.
The trial will be livestreamed, with CourtTV promising “live, gavel-to-gavel” coverage from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST.
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