Maurice Hall, a friend of the late George Floyd, says that Floyd was nothing but polite and cooperative in the moments leading up to his death.
Minnesota state investigators consider Hall to be a key witness in the case.
Floyd was killed on May 25 when a former Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes during a detainment.
What are the details?
Hall, a passenger in Floyd’s car when police approached, said that 46-year-old Floyd was humble and respectful throughout the entire incident.
“He was, from the beginning, trying in his humblest form to show he was not resisting in no form or way,” Hall told The New York Times on Wednesday from his home in Houston. “I could hear him pleading, ‘Please, officer, what’s all this for?'”
Hall recalled Floyd’s fear when he realized something was going to happen.
“I’m going to always remember seeing the fear in Floyd’s face, because he’s such a king,” Hall said. “That’s what sticks with me, seeing a grown man cry before seeing a grown man die.”
He added, “He was just crying out at that time for anyone to help because he was dying.”
What else do we know about this?
Following Floyd’s death, Hall said he fled from Minnesota to his native city of Houston — but not before paying his last respects to his friend, the Times reported.
“When the whole world was finding out that they murdered George Floyd,” he told the outlet, “I went and said a prayer where I witnessed him take his last breath, and I left.”
A Minnesota state investigator arrived Monday at Hall’s home, where they took him into custody for outstanding warrants for an arrest on felony possession of a firearm, felony domestic assault, and felony drug possession. Instead of questioning him over the warrants, however, Hall said the investigator was only interested in what he knew as a witness regarding Floyd’s death.
Hall was released Tuesday, the Times reported.
Ashlee C. McFarlane, a lawyer for Hall, told the outlet that her client had been interrogated over Floyd’s death for hours.
“When Mr. Hall’s family found us, he had been isolated in jail for 10 hours after being interrogated until 3 a.m.,” McFarlane said. “This is not how you treat a key witness, especially one that had just seen his friend murdered by police. Even with outstanding warrants, this should have been done another way.”
The Times noted that Hall and Floyd were acquainted through a Minneapolis-area pastor in 2016 and became easy friends. The two were in contact daily from the time they met.
On Wednesday, Minnesota officials announced upgraded charges against former police Officer Derek Chauvin, the man who kneeled on Floyd’s neck during the arrest, and who is accused of killing him.
Minnesota state upgraded the charges against Chauvin from third-degree murder and manslaughter to second-degree murder.
Three other former officers were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.