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Trial Begins for Ex-Police Officer Charged in George Floyd's Death; Prosecution Questions First Witness in Chauvin Trial. Aired 1- 1:30p ET
Aired March 29, 2021 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MATTHEW FRANK, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: So they're asking for the ambulance to come quicker?
JENA SCURRY, 911 DISPATCHER: Correct.
FRANK: And just to be clear, I want to talk about EMS. We would think about it as an ambulance, right?
FRANK: And then next line 20:27:21, can you describe for the jurors what's depicted there?
SCURRY: It was information for the paramedics that police had the male restrained on the ground.
FRANK: And, incidentally, are you able to tell who called that in, whether it was -- or which squad it was?
SCURRY: I would be able to if I read the portable number, but I did not.
FRANK: But not on this -- not on this printout, correct?
FRANK: All right. So then the next line down at 20:28:36, do you see that?
FRANK: Can you describe for the jurors what that line has there?
SCURRY: We first start out with a different number, so the long numbers with all the zeros. And then that is a paramedic writing into the call. And it says Rig 412 is requesting Fire Code 3, so we're adding additional agency to that.
FRANK: Explain why -- is EMS different than fire? SCURRY: Yes.
FRANK: How so?
SCURRY: EMS, we have two different EMS companies we work with, north and then Hennepin County, Hennepin EMS. And this is them writing in here, adding the additional fire. Fire is clearly firefighters but they are medically trained, they can be anywhere in the city close to within four minutes.
FRANK: So this is the paramedics calling in --
SCURRY: Additional support.
FRANK: -- for support from the fire department?
FRANK: And then if we skip down two lines to 20:31:12, tell us what's listed there.
SCURRY: Per engine or rig, this is the paramedic Rig 412, EMS is now located at Park and 36. So they no longer are on scene.
FRANK: And so for those last two lines we've looked at, the EMS people are sending information to you, or to this call center?
SCURRY: Everything is shared. So we have a shared computer system that we use. And when you start adding additional agencies, everybody gets the same information so that everybody can be informed on what's going on.
FRANK: And so this information then as well goes out to the fire department?
FRANK: And is that a separate thing you have to do or is it automatic as part of this sharing?
SCURRY: It is an automatic thing once you are adding the agencies. So fire would not be able to see that unless they had their own call.
FRANK: And so the line above that is the multi-agency fire -- is that the fire then?
FRANK: And so skipping down a couple lines now to 20:33:02, can you describe for the jurors what's in that line?
SCURRY: It says, via METCOM, EMS would like the fire department for patient condition at the requested location.
FRANK: And this is something you dispatched out.
FRANK: And so that's -- what's the import of this information? What's being communicated here?
SCURRY: I no longer knew what was going on. And I asked our partners, our agency -- other agencies via METCOM, it is a resource group that we have that we can connect radio to radio instead of phone to phone, it's faster, and I asked them what was going on? And that's what they told me. So I put it in the call so that everybody had that information.
FRANK: And the next line down at 20:34:10, can you describe where that information is coming from?
SCURRY: It's coming from the paramedics and it says full arrest.
FRANK: So that's something they're reporting into the now shared system, full arrest?
FRANK: All right. And the next line after that, 20:34:30.
SCURRY: Again, from coming from paramedics, they said engine or Rig 412, the paramedics are working a full arrest.
FRANK: And next line down again, now is you calling in, or you handling this information, correct?
FRANK: And what are you dispatching out there?
SCURRY: Adding information that the fire department is in route to Park and 36.
FRANK: And then the next line down, 20:36:07.
SCURRY: That is a different I.D. number and it starts with F, which means it's coming from one of our fire dispatchers. It says Engine 17, fire is two minutes out to 36th and Park.
FRANK: And the next line down, if you could just describe that for the jurors, the 20:48:23.
SCURRY: That is EMS transporting to HCMC.
FRANK: And then finally this last line, 20:55:06, in the column after the time, 330, correct?
FRANK: So, what does that mean with that code being there?
SCURRY: The information that they provided?
FRANK: Right. So is this 330 calling in?
SCURRY: They didn't call in. This is information they put directly into the call.
FRANK: All right. How did they do that?
SCURRY: They have their computers. It's a laptop, I believe, in their cars, that they're able to provide information that way too.
FRANK: And so on this line, it references the status of the A.P. Do you recognize the abbreviation, A.P.?
FRANK: You don't know what that refers to?
And so this is really a timeline of what happened during these calls, correct?
FRANK: So, during this call, you know why we're here today, of course, because of this incident, correct?
FRANK: You have since learned the identities of the officers involved?
FRANK: On May 25th of 2020, did you personally know any of those officers?
FRANK: And during this time of this call, did you have some opportunities to look at the street video from this location?
SCURRY: I did.
FRANK: And can you describe for the jurors how you came to see that?
SCURRY: While working at my position, we have two cameras or two T.V.s on our walls, one on both side of the walls, so either side of the room can see. While I was dispatching calls because this call was not the only call that I had to dispatch to officers in different precincts, I noticed that the cameras were up at 38th and Chicago and that we were able to see what was going on.
FRANK: And did you recognize what was depicted in the video?
SCURRY: For the most, to the best of my knowledge.
FRANK: And that was Cup Foods in the video?
FRANK: And did you recognize that as Cup Foods?
FRANK: Was that consistent with what you knew to be 38th and Chicago?
FRANK: And so did you also, when you observed that, see some police officers?
FRANK: And can you just describe when you first looked up there, in general, kind of what you saw?
SCURRY: When I first -- I just saw the squad car. I didn't see the police officers.
FRANK: And did you watch this video feed for a period of time?
SCURRY: I went in and out of the camera, and being able to pay attention to it. I did not watch the whole video, or as it was happening, I did not watch the whole time.
FRANK: And why not?
SCURRY: I still had calls to take care of, and things to give out to the police officers.
FRANK: So we've marked a copy of that video. Did you have a chance to view that before coming into court today?
FRANK: And you understand that we cropped it in the sense of on one side of the video there's a huge sign that kind of obscures that whole area but the rest of the video, does it fairly and accurately depict what you were able to see?
FRANK: And so, your honor, we would offer what's been marked as Exhibit 11.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any objections?
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for joining us this afternoon here on CNN, I'm Erica Hill. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. You're watching day one of the high-profile murder trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin.
Chauvin is accused of killing George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for roughly nine minutes during an arrest ten months ago.
Opening statements setting up two starkly different views of what caused George Floyd's death and who is responsible. We're going to recap some of that for you.
The first witness is on the stand there, a 911 dispatcher. We will get back to that.
But let's bring you up to speed on what happened this morning in court, some of the most compelling moments replaying the video of the moments leading up to Floyd's death. That video, I want to warn you, is disturbing, and it does include profanity, but it is also critical to this case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you being a bum right now? He enjoying that, he enjoying that (BLEEP). He enjoying that (BLEEP). Be a bum bro, he enjoying that (BLEEP) right now, bro. You'd better (BLEEP) put him in the car by now, bro. He's out resisting arrest or nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's talking now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You enjoying it, look at you, your body language is crazy, you (BLEEP) bum.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: Just part of the video there that was played. I want to return you now to court where, again, we're hearing from the first witness.
FRANK: All right. So I'm going to ask to pause it right here. Now, as I said other than cutting out the big sign on the right side, does this fairly depict what you were able to see when you looked up at the screens on May 25th of 2020 regarding this incident?
FRANK: All right. And you said when you first saw it, there were no officers, now we obviously have seen some officers walking into view. Were you still able to watch it when they did walk into view?
SCURRY: I was in and out of this video so I do not remember them walking to the car.
FRANK: All right. And what do you remember seeing the next time that you looked up?
SCURRY: I believe they were getting into the back of the squad car.
FRANK: And do you remember then the next time that you were able to see it generally what was depicted?
SCURRY: I believe they were still trying to get into the back of the squad car. It was moving a little bit. And then I went back to my screens.
FRANK: And I think what I'd like to do is have this run. And if you could just watch the video and tell the jurors when you were able to look up, what parts that you remember seeing that day during your shift, okay?
FRANK: All right.
SCURRY: I believe this is close to where I started watching.
FRANK: So, obviously, you can see some police officers here. Did you recognize them, individuals, individually?
And then I only -- I didn't watch that much. And then the next time I looked, they were opening the door. I do remember that.
FRANK: Okay. Which door do you mean?
SCURRY: The driver's side backseat.
This is what I remember seeing.
FRANK: And so for the record, we see the officers now trying to put Mr. Floyd into the back seat, correct?
FRANK: The time stamp on the top for the record reflects about 8:17:10 when you said that approximately?
FRANK: Now, the officers have opened a rear passenger door. Do you remember seeing this part of the video?
SCURRY: Yes. I remember seeing the squad move.
FRANK: And what do you mean by move?
SCURRY: So like now you can see the squad is moving back and forth.
FRANK: It's not like being driven but moving back and forth?
FRANK: And for the record now, the time stamp at the top is 8:17:50, approximately.
SCURRY: And I know I wasn't able to watch all of this.
FRANK: So, at some point, here you had to turn away and do your job?
FRANK: Okay. And do you remember what was the next thing you remember seeing?
SCURRY: The next time I remember looking up is they had moved from the back of the squad to the ground.
FRANK: All right. And so when you see that, let me know and we'll just make a reference to it at that time, okay?
SCURRY: Okay, I don't exactly know when I moved to the ground. I just know that when I looked up, we were no longer in the back seat.
FRANK: Because you've told us that you remember seeing them on the ground with him, I want you to point out the time in the video that looks familiar to what you remember seeing when you say that you saw them on the ground with him, so that we know, okay?
I believe this is when I started watching again.
FRANK: So, for the record, the time stamp at the top reflects 8:19:25. So this is what you mean by them having him on the ground?
FRANK: Do you recall how long you were able to watch around this time?
SCURRY: No. Honestly, I was in and out of looking at the cameras and then going back to my screens to make sure I wasn't missing anything, added remarks, getting out calls and then would go back to the screen again.
FRANK: Now -- and, actually, I think what I'll do is just pause it here. After seeing this at some point, then did you look back to the screen?
SCURRY: To back to working?
FRANK: No, back to this video of the screen?
SCURRY: Yes, I was in and out of looking at this screen and then my work.
FRANK: And at some point then, did you go back to this and -- how did it appear at that time when you went back to it?
SCURRY: It had not changed. FRANK: And what do you mean by that?
SCURRY: They were still on the ground. The whole situation was still the scene.
FRANK: Had there been other changes to the scene, were there other people --
SCURRY: I didn't pay attention to the surroundings of what was going on. I just know that they hadn't moved.
FRANK: All right. And -- but at some point, did you see other like citizens in the video?
SCURRY: There -- I cannot remember seeing them. I just remembered looking up and seeing that the situation hadn't changed.
FRANK: Do you recall approximately how long that was?
SCURRY: No, it was long enough. It was long enough that I could look back multiple times.
FRANK: And so when you did look back, still on the ground, like depicted here essentially?
FRANK: And what did you think about this when you looked back and saw that it hadn't changed?
SCURRY: At first, I asked if the screens had frozen.
FRANK: Why did you ask that?
SCURRY: Because it hadn't changed.
FRANK: Okay. And did you find that it had frozen?
SCURRY: No. Well, I was told that it was not frozen.
FRANK: Did you see the screen change yourself?
SCURRY: Yes, I saw the persons moving.
FRANK: So what did you start thinking at that point?
SCURRY: Something might be wrong.
SCURRY: We don't get these videos often or, you know, video at all unless it's looking at the bridge or just looking at people walking. We very rarely get incidents where police are actively on a scene. And they had changed. They had come from the back of the squad to the ground and my instincts were telling me that something was wrong, something is not right. I don't know what but something wasn't right.
FRANK: In what ways was not -- were you thinking that something was not right?
SCURRY: It was an extended period of time. Again, I can't tell you the exact amount of time and they hadn't told me if they needed anymore resources. It's a multitude of different things that ran through my brain. But I became concerned that something might be wrong.
FRANK: Wrong with what, what were you thinking?
SCURRY: It was a gut instinct of in the incident, something is not going right. Whether it be they needed more assistance or if there were -- just something wasn't right. I don't know how to explain it. It was a gut instinct to tell me that now we can be concerned.
FRANK: And what did you decide to do?
SCURRY: I took that instinct and I called the sergeant.
FRANK: And do you recall who the sergeant was that you talked to?
SCURRY: It was Sergeant Kluger (ph).
FRANK: And why did you call the sergeant?
SCURRY: The sergeant is the police officers' supervisor.
FRANK: You're not a police officer.
FRANK: You haven't gone through like use of force training.
FRANK: But in your experience, you felt something was wrong here and the sergeant needed to know about it.
SCURRY: Correct. If this was a form of use of force, I was calling to let them know.
FRANK: Why would you involve a sergeant in a call that might involve use of force?
SCURRY: Sergeants are usually notified for use of force.
FRANK: And so did you, in fact, call Sergeant Kluger (ph)?
SCURRY: I did.
FRANK: Have you ever in your career before called a sergeant for something like this?
SCURRY: For an incident like this? FRANK: Right.
SCURRY: To be exact, no.
FRANK: Where you have this instinct and felt something was wrong and needed to call a sergeant about, had you ever had that situation before this incident?
SCURRY: If something was wrong with a call, yes, and not -- I don't know how to say this -- not if -- I can call the sergeant for anything because they are of a resource, and if I'm wrong, then I'm wrong. But I can call them regarding calls if something doesn't look right in a call, if there's a caution note, if there's something that they can do beyond the scope of the call, I can call them.
FRANK: And have you had a chance to listen to a recording of that call you actually made?
FRANK: And that recording is made as part of the business of the call center, records that traffic.
SCURRY: Everything is recorded.
FRANK: And we played a recording of that for you previously.
FRANK: And was it an accurate recording of your call?
FRANK: And we've now marked that as Exhibit 12. And, your honor, we would offer Exhibit 12?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No objection.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 12 is received.
FRANK: And at this time, we'll play that call, all right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 193014 (ph), May 25, 2020.
SCURRY: Hey, this is Jena with Channel 1.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, what's up?
SCURRY: Hey. So just wanted to let you know about person (INAUDIBLE) 2602 Bloomington, and then I didn't know, you can call me a snitch if you want to, but we have the cameras up for 320's car, (INAUDIBLE) they must have started moving him at 320 at Cup Foods.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay. SCURRY: I don't know if they had to use force or not. They got something out of the back of the squad and all of them sat on this man. So I don't know if they needed to or not but they haven't said anything to me yet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, they haven't said anything. So, just take note, it doesn't count, but --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- I'll find out.
SCURRY: No problem. We don't get to ever see it. So when we see it, we're just like, well, that looks a little different. All right, thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 203133 (ph) May 25, 2020.
FRANK: I'm going to walk through that just a little bit. At the very beginning, you spoke kind of fast and you identified yourself. Can you describe to the jury what you were saying then?
SCURRY: I told them my name was Jena and that I was channel 1 dispatch.
FRANK: So that's -- meaning dispatch for third precinct?
FRANK: And then you talked about something involving a knife, is that related to this case at all?
FRANK: That was from some other call?
FRANK: And then you used the term snitch.
FRANK: What did you mean by that?
SCURRY: At that moment, it was a word that just came out of my mouth, but it's out of the scope of my duties to call a sergeant if -- correction -- if there was any use of force.
FRANK: And so that's what the purpose -- well, tell me, what was the purpose of making that call to him and giving him that information?
SCURRY: Voicing my concerns. Like I said, we don't see incidents. My job is mainly all listening.
FRANK: And by the time you made that call, you said something to Sergeant Kluger (ph) about, oh, did they take him already? By the time you made that call, were you still able to see the video from the street camera?
SCURRY: Yes, the video was still up.
FRANK: And what did you see at the time you were making that call?
SCURRY: That nobody was there.
FRANK: So, you were aware an ambulance had come to the scene?
FRANK: But the ambulance was not in the video at that time?
FRANK: So that -- is that the reason why you made a reference to them being gone?
SCURRY: Yes. So, I was speaking to the rest of my team over there and asking a question to them while still on the phone with the sergeant.
FRANK: So, probably a better time for me to ask this question, but have you ever, prior to that date, made a call like that to a sergeant?
FRANK: In your job?
Your honor, I have no further questions, thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Nelson, should we take our lunch break or do a short cross-examination?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We should take our lunch break. (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Members of the jury, we'll take our lunch break. Lunches should be delivered to your room soon. So we'll see you at 1:30.
HILL: So lunch break just beginning here for day one in the trial of Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd some ten months ago.
We were just listening to the first witness in this case, the 911 dispatcher who took the call, who dispatched police officers after receiving a call about potentially a counterfeit bill being passed at the Cup Foods. You saw some of that video there. She also placed a call later on after watching what was happening on the screens that are available, at her place of work, at the 911 dispatch where they can see things that are going on and she had noticed at one point that the police officers on the scene hadn't really moved.
This is after they had moved from the back of the police car that we saw, around to the side and then they were on the ground. That concerned her at one moment, in fact, asking some of her colleagues whether the video had frozen. She was told the video had not frozen. She called a sergeant to say, I just want to say all of them, I noticed all of them sat on this man. The sergeant said, I'll find out what's going on and she said it just looked a little different. She wasn't used to seeing that.
Again, this is the first witness, the prosecution wrapping up its questioning. The defense opting for the lunch break. They will question her after that lunch break. And so that is where we began.
If you're just joining us now, I do want to bring you up to speed on what we've heard in the opening statements. The prosecution working to convince the jury that this was a clear case of excessive police force, and homicide, noting this was not a split second decision, in fact, repeatedly noting that Chauvin's knee was on George Floyd for more than nine minutes.