Maurice Lester Hall, which was in the passenger seat of Mr. Floyd’s car when it was stopped by Minneapolis police, said that his longtime friend had done everything he could to defuse the situation .
The father of two died after a white officer strangled him, pressing his knee to his neck for nine minutes.
The horrific death of Mr. Floyd sparked days of protests and riots across the United States, with shock expressed worldwide by the continued mistreatment of African Americans by law enforcement officials.
In his first interview, Mr. Hall, 42, told the New York Times: “From the beginning, he tried in his humblest form to show that he did not resist in any way. I could hear him imploring, “Please, officer, what’s the use?” »»
Recounting his last moments with Mr. Floyd on Remembrance Day, May 25, Mr. Hall said, “He was screaming at that time for someone to help him because he was in dying. I will always remember seeing fear on Floyd’s face because he is such a king. This is what I have left, seeing an adult man cry, before seeing an adult man die. “
Mr. Hall, who provided the police with a false name at the scene of Mr. Floyd’s arrest, left Minneapolis and hitchhiked in Houston two days later, where he was found on Monday.
He was arrested under arrest warrants for possession of a firearm, assault and possession of drugs, and was interviewed by investigators from the State of Minnesota.
“I’m walking with Floyd. I know I’m going to be her voice, ”said Hall.
Mr. Hall is likely to be a central witness in the investigation of the four officers who arrested Mr. Floyd, in particular the actions of Derek Chauvin, who was filmed with his knee on his neck.
Minnesota officials said on Wednesday that the state had increased charges against Mr. Chauvin for second degree murder, third degree murder and manslaughter. They also charged the three other officers who participated in the fatal arrest – Thomas Lane, 37, J. Alexander Kueng, 26 and Tou Thao, 34 – for helping and encouraging the murder.