Teen says his manager made him confront George Floyd over fake $20, and more takeaways from day 3 of Derek Chauvin's trial

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Haven Orecchio-Egresitz
·5 min read
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george floyd tou thao body cam
Body camera footage shows a crowd of onlookers grow larger as officers sought to keep them off the street, while they yelled that George Floyd was unconscious and not moving. YouTube/KARE 11
  • Day three of testimony in the trial of ex-Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin continued Wednesday.

  • A 19-year-old cashier said his manager made him confront Floyd over a fake $20 bill.

  • The teen expressed guilt that echoed testimony from other bystanders who said they felt helpless.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A 19-year-old cashier told the jury in the Derek Chauvin trial that his manager asked him to follow George Floyd to his car after he paid for cigarettes with a fake $20 bill - and the teen said he felt the police response could've been avoided if he hadn't accepted the counterfit bill.

Cup Foods cashier Christopher Martin was one of three bystanders who testified Wednesday about what they saw on May 25, 2020, when Floyd died after Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for what prosecutors say was more than nine minutes.

The guilt Martin described echoed testimony jurors heard from other civilians who witnessed Floyd's death during the first two days of the trial.

An off-duty firefighter had testified she begged officers to let her check Floyd's pulse and felt desperate when they wouldn't let her. Several teens also told jurors they felt helpless that they couldn't do more to help Floyd.

On Wednesday, the prosecution called more more bystanders who described the distressing scene.

george floyd square
George Floyd Square is shown on Feb. 8, 2021, in Minneapolis. AP Photo/Jim Mone

Teen cashier said Floyd was friendly 'but he did seem high'

Martin told the jury Floyd came into the store first to make repairs to his cellphone and then to buy cigarettes. He said he noticed Floyd's large size and asked him if he played sports.

Floyd spoke slowly and his responses were delayed, Martin said, leading him to believe Floyd was under the influence of drugs.

"He seemed very friendly, approachable," he said. "He seemed to be having an average Memorial Day, just living his life, but he did seem high."

The cashier felt 'this could have been avoided' if he hadn't taken the bill

When Floyd paid for the cigarettes, Martin said he realized the bill Floyd used didn't seem real. Another man who was in the store with Floyd had attempted to use a fake bill earlier in the day, but Martin refused to take it.

Martin said he accepted the bill despite his suspicions in part because he believed Floyd was "high." He said he also thought Floyd may not have used the bill intentionally.

"I thought George didn't really know it was a fake bill, so that I might be doing him a favor," Martin said.

After Floyd left the store, Martin decided to tell his manager. He testified it's company policy that if he accepted a fake bill, it would come out of his paycheck.

Martin said his manager then asked him to confront Floyd in his car, where he sat with another man and woman. The conversation was "polite" and "pleasant," Martin said, but another passenger mostly did the talking and nobody returned or paid for the cigarettes. Martin said he went later returned with coworkers, but again was unsuccessful at getting Floyd to come back into the store.

A coworker then called 911, Martin testified, summoning officers Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao.

Martin's coworkers were among the crowd that pleaded with the officers to get off of Floyd during their interaction with him.

Cup Foods said in a statement to Court TV that it isn't company policy to ask employees to confront customers outside the store over counterfeit bills, but that Floyd had a good relationship with employees and the manager believed he didn't know the bill was fake. A spokesman also said while there is a policy to charge employees for accepting fake bills - and only if they didn't check first - nobody has had money deducted from their check for this infraction.

"If I could have not taken the bill, this could have been avoided," Martin testified.

Chauvin trial, McMillian
Charles McMillian sobbed on the witness stand as he talked about seeing George Floyd crying out for his mother. Pool cameras/Court TV

A 61-year-old bystander wanted to 'make the situation easier' for Floyd

Charles McMillian, 61, testified Floyd was screaming out that he was claustrophobic as officers tried to put him in a cruiser.

Having had interactions with officers in the past, McMillian said he was trying to "make the situation easier" by advising Floyd to comply and get in the cruiser.

He testified Floyd responded directly to him, saying he's "not a bad guy."

As the video of Floyd's interaction with police played in the courtroom, McMillian began to sob.

McMillian is seen in the video calling out to Floyd, "you can't win," and urging him to cooperate.

He said he became more concerned about Floyd as Chauvin - who he recognized from the community - pressed his knee into Floyd's neck.

Floyd called out for his "mama" and told McMillian he was unable to get up and into the cruiser.

"When the paramedics arrived for Mr. Floyd, I knew in my mind, in my instinct, that it was over for Mr. Floyd," McMillian said. "He was dead."

Derek Chauvin
In this image taken from video, defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, defendant and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, right, introduce themselves to potential jurors. Court TV, via AP, Pool

The jury saw officers' body camera footage

The prosecution presented body camera footage obtained from the officers on scene to jurors.

The footage showed up-close views of Lane, Kueng, and Chauvin struggling to force a handcuffed Floyd into the back of a cruiser.

Audio of the incident included Floyd pleading with officers not to put him in the car, telling them he was claustrophobic, and mentioning Covid-19.

Bystanders also could be heard yelling in the background for Chauvin to remove his knee from Floyd's neck after he was brought to the ground.

At one point, Thao could be heard calling back, "This is why you don't do drugs, kids."

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