Giving her first interview about the murder, she says she believes that as the minutes passed, Chauvin realized he had killed Mr. Floyd.
Kaylynn, 17, believes the officer was concerned that if he had stood up from the victim it would have been obvious he was dead, and the witnesses could have turned violent.
Kaylynn, whose video of the murder and evidence in court helped convict Chauvin of murder, said, “I believe Derek was on his neck for so long because he knew he was dead.
“If he had stood up before the ambulance arrived, it would have gotten worse. Everyone would have known there and then George was dead… The police would have killed someone else.
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As she tearfully watches his video of the murder, she adds, “It doesn’t make sense why he would stay on top of him, especially after George was unconscious.”
“A cop has no reason to pressure them when they are handcuffed. He knew what he was doing. I understood what he was doing.
“I had a hunch that George was dead from the way the paramedics picked him up later and their reaction.
“When I watch my video I can see that when the ambulance team arrived they went to check his pulse, it was clear they couldn’t find it. “
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“They then took their time to get the [stretcher]. Incredibly, Derek was still on his neck. The ambulance team must have waved him off.
“It was as if they were saying ‘get up from him – he’s dead.’ It was murder, outright.
Mr. Floyd, 46, was arrested on suspicion of attempting to use a counterfeit $ 20 bill at a store in the US city of Minneapolis.
He was placed on the ground in the street and Chauvin rested his knee on the father’s neck for more than nine minutes.
Mr. Floyd was unconscious for about three of those minutes.
Kaylynn and her best friend Alyssa Funari arrived in a car when Mr. Floyd was arrested.
Kaylynn, who suffers from anxiety and stayed in the vehicle as her boyfriend walked to a store to buy a phone cable, could hear the commotion nearby and told Alyssa to “take my phone” to film the movie. arrest because she felt something was wrong. t right.
Watching from the car, she could hear her friend grow more and more distressed by what she was seeing, then she got out of the vehicle herself.
Kaylynn said: “At the time, I knew George needed help, but I didn’t know Chauvin was killing him then.
Mr. Floyd had told the officers, “I can’t breathe.”
Kaylynn immediately approached Mr. Floyd, at one point, only a few feet away, begging the officer to stand up from his neck. Chauvin then threatened her with his pepper spray.
She said, “I really think if I or someone else out there would have kept going forward to challenge the police, someone else would have been killed by them because it was getting so intense. “
Kaylynn resumed trying to call in the officers. She adds: “I kept repeating myself. I was like, ‘Why are you always above him? He’s not doing anything wrong ”.” She says officers checked Mr. Floyd’s pulse several times, but it seemed they couldn’t find one.
She says her face had turned dark purple and that Mr. Floyd was dead by the time the ambulance arrived. Paramedics said at trial that Mr. Floyd did not have a pulse when they arrived at the scene. He was pronounced dead in hospital.
Chauvin’s lawyers claimed in court that a sudden heart attack or drug overdose was responsible for the death.
But the jury disagreed and the sacked officer was found guilty last month. The 45-year-old is to be sentenced on June 25. Kaylynn says, “What attracts me the most is that there were kids there.
“I’m a kid, but there was a nine-year-old over there who witnessed this.
” And what? [Chauvin] saw nothing wrong in what he is doing? After so many people told him to leave him. The murder sparked protests around the world.
On the first anniversary today, thousands of people are expected to attend a commemoration in Minneapolis and other events in the United States. Some of his family are expected to attend a candlelight vigil at the location where he was killed.
This weekend, those close to Mr. Floyd and others who have lost loved ones in encounters with police were joined by supporters in Minneapolis for a march.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the courthouse where Chauvin was sentenced, many carrying signs with photos of Mr Floyd and other black men killed by police officers.
Bridgett, Mr. Floyd’s sister, told the crowd: “It’s been a long year… a painful year.
Ahead of the trial, the family received a record settlement of £ 19million from the city.
Kaylynn was one of nine witnesses – including Charles McMillian, 61, the first bystander to see the fatal arrest – to testify at the trial.
The teenager, who grew up in the difficult south of Minneapolis where Mr. Floyd was killed, now hopes to turn her heartbreaking ordeal into something positive.
It inspired her to dream of becoming a defense lawyer.
Coming from a disadvantaged background, struggling to get by and being homeless until a few months ago, Kaylynn hopes she can become the first person in her family to go to college.
“Considering the hardships my family had to face and George’s death, I would like to become a lawyer to help others,” she says.
“I hope that for the others, he did not die in vain.”
She said she and others in Minneapolis were “extremely grateful” to the people in Britain who are now campaigning for change on Mr Floyd’s behalf.
She adds: “I think it’s amazing how everyone comes together after such a loss, especially young people like me.
“But if we want the change, we have to be the change… become that doctor, become that policeman.
“Follow your dreams – be the difference in the system.
“We can’t control bad people, but it all starts with one person who is a good person and speaks up.
“That’s all it took with George Floyd. That one, that old man, Charles McMillian.
“He was the first person there. It only took one person to start, and then other people came in and started talking.
“We fought for the justice George deserved. Now we have to fight for responsibility. “