Who is Charles McMillian? Witness cries and recounts George Floyd saying 'I got anxiety, I'm scared as f**k, man'

Charles McMillian who witnessed George Floyd's death broke down during the trial saying he felt 'helpless'

                            Who is Charles McMillian? Witness cries and recounts George Floyd saying 'I got anxiety, I'm scared as f**k, man'
Charles McMillian, a witness of George Floyd's death breaks down during former police officer Derek Chauvin's trial after watching the surveillance footage of the incident (ABC News / YouTube)

It was just like any other day for Charles McMillian as he was driving around his neighborhood on May 25, 2020. He stopped at a red light in front of Cup Foods, and during that time something caught his attention. He witnessed some scuffle between police and a Black man.

Owing to his 'nosy' nature, McMillian stopped there and got out of his van, and watched the interaction between the police and a man, who he would later learn was George Floyd. Things were never the same for McMillian ever since then.


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Charles McMillian, 61, claimed he stopped to witness the interaction between George Floyd and the police officers because he was 'nosy' (ABC News)


Who is Charles McMillian?

Charles McMillian is a 61-year-old man who witnessed the death of George Floyd outside a store in Minneapolis. He has currently been called upon as a witness in the trial against one of the former officers, Derek Chauvin. 

During the trial when McMillian saw the footage of Floyd's interaction with the police officers and his eventual death, the 61-year-old witness broke down saying he felt "helpless". McMillian recalled the incident. "Basically, I [saw] the officer asking Mr Floyd to get out of the truck." Floyd was later allowed to sit on the sidewalk and was placed in handcuffs. Two police officers made Floyd stand up and walked him across the street to a police car parked outside Cup Foods.


Protesters confront police outside the 3rd Police Precinct on May 27, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired after a video taken by a bystander was posted on social media showing 46-year-old George Floyd's neck being pinned to the ground by an officer as he repeatedly said, "I can’t breathe". Floyd was later pronounced dead while in police custody after being transported to Hennepin County Medical Center. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)


The officers then reportedly attempted to get Floyd into the police car, but he resisted by struggling against it, and eventually collapsed in the back seat. Just as Floyd was informing the police officers that he was 'claustrophobic', McMillian revealed that he began speaking to him from a distance. McMillian tried to get Floyd to comply with the officers by getting into the car and not resist arrest. In his testimony, McMillian said, "I'm trying to get him to understand that when you make a mistake once they get you in the car. You're going to go with them and I was trying to get him to go."

The surveillance video showed the witness shouting after Floyd "you can't win" as he was being escorted into the police car.  During the testimony, McMillian shared why he said that: "...because I have had interactions with officers myself and I understand once you get in the car, you can't win, you're done. It's just the way I've looked at it."


A protester at a demonstration against Derek Chauvin (Getty Images)


The body footage camera from the officers revealed that Floyd responded to McMillian by saying that he didn't want to win, and was claustrophobic. "I don't wanna win. I'm claustrophobic. I got anxiety. I'm scared as f---, man," Floyd could be heard saying. Two more officers arrived at the scene- Chauvin and Tou Thao. McMillian shared that he recognized Chauvin from an interaction he had with the officer a week earlier. 

He then said that Floyd was removed from the car, while he was still handcuffed, and was placed face down on the ground. Following which Chauvin put his knee on Floyd's neck, while the other officers held Floyd down on the ground. McMillian broke down as he recounted how Floyd was crying out for his "momma". "I feel helpless," said McMillian, who began crying after watching the bodycam footage and surveillance video. 

Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. The trial is expected to be carried out over four weeks. 

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