Witness at George Floyd Arrest Had Instant Feeling Something Was Wrong

A woman who witnessed George Floyd's 2020 death testified Friday at the trial of former officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.

Alyssa Funari, now 19, told the court she passed by the May 25, 2020, scene while driving to the store, heard Floyd's screaming and knew immediately he was "in distress," the Associated Press reported. Funari said she parked her car and left it running because she had a "gut feeling" something was wrong upon seeing officers on top of Floyd.

The three former officers are charged with depriving Floyd of his civil rights while acting under government authority for not intervening when former officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck, suffocating him. Newsweek previously reported the three officers had received emergency medical responder training and were taught to administer CPR but followed Chauvin's instructions to wait for paramedics to help Floyd.

"I instantly knew that he was in distress," Funari said in court, according to the AP. "He was moving, making facial expressions that he was in pain. He was telling us that he was in pain."

The teen began filming the officers with her cell phone, which the prosecution played in court on Thursday, according to Minneapolis' Star Tribune. In the footage, Funari can be heard saying Floyd is "about to knock out."

"I observed that over time he was slowly being less vocal and he was closing his eyes," she told the court, the Star Tribune reported. "He wasn't able to tell us he was in pain anymore and he was just accepting it," she said, adding that she did not see any officers trying to provide aid to Floyd.

Robert Paule, an attorney for Thao, has argued that his client was too busy keeping a bystander crowd that had formed from stepping into the street to notice what was happening to Floyd, the Star Tribune added.

During Funari's cross-examination, Paule asked if there was a chance Thao didn't know what was going on as his back was turned, but she said no because "you could hear it," the AP added.

Chauvin was convicted of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death and sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison. Thao, Lane and Keung are facing additional charges of aiding and abetting the murder and manslaughter. That trial is scheduled to begin in June.

Update 02/11/22 2:50 p.m. ET: This story was updated to add more information and testimony from Alyssa Funari.

George Floyd, San Diego, memorial
A woman who was present at George Floyd's 2020 killing said she immediately knew something was wrong. Above, a photograph of Floyd is displayed along with other photographs at the Say Their Names memorial exhibit at Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade on July 20, 2021 in San Diego, California. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images