The 19-year-old store clerk who cashed George Floyd moments before his death testified at the trial of ex-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin about his feelings of guilt after their interaction.
Christopher Martin, who worked at Cut Foods where Floyd was accused of using a fake $ 20 bill, said on Wednesday he felt “disbelief and guilt” when he walked out of the store and saw Chauvin kneel on Floyd’s neck.
When asked why he felt guilty, Martin said, “If I just hadn’t taken the bill, it could have been avoided.”
The teenager explained in court his interaction with Floyd on May 25, 2020. Martin said that at the time, he had worked in a store for four months and lived in the apartments above Cut Foods with his mother and son. sister.
He explained that the store had a policy that if an employee accepted a fake ticket, then that money would be taken from his paycheck.
In surveillance footage, Martin is seen holding the note, which he described as having a blue tint, up to the light before accepting it in exchange for the tobacco products Floyd purchased.
However, upon closer examination, Martin said he believed the invoice was wrong but Floyd had already left the store and got into his car. He said he spoke to his manager, who asked him to ask Floyd to return to the store.
Martin approached the car with another colleague and asked Floyd to come back to the store. When Floyd refused, Martin returned and told his manager that he would deal with the $ 20 himself, but was told to try again.
The clerk returned to Floyd’s vehicle with two other employees, but again failed. Upon hearing the news, his manager asked his staff to call the police.
Once the police arrived, Martin said he walked out of Cut Foods to see what was going on.
“I saw people screaming and screaming,” he told the jury on the third day of the trial. “I saw Derek with his knee on George’s neck.
Martin said he immediately called his mother and told her not to come down, then started recording the incident on his phone. He admitted to removing the footage that night because he assumed Floyd died when the ambulance carrying Floyd descended on East 38th Street instead of Chicago Avenue.
“If you live in southern Minneapolis, the easiest way to get to the hospital would have been right through Chicago,” Martin said Wednesday.
He said he quit shortly after Floyd’s death because he didn’t feel safe working in the store.