BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Today marks the fourth day of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who is accused of killing George Floyd. It is a case that sparked conversation about police brutality across the country. Just days after a trial that is expected to take place in the past few weeks, footage of George Floyd’s arrest has dominated the trial. Derek Chauvin’s defense hasn’t started yet, but some core residents say they have seen enough already.
“It was overwhelming to see it all come at you at once,” said Vincent Alvarez, a Bakersfield resident.
In Monday’s opening speeches, Chauvin’s defense made Floyd’s death attributable to opioid use and a heart condition. However, two separate autopsies state that Floyd died of suffocation. The popular video showed Chauvin with his knee to Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes.
“I don’t really know what kind of defense they can use for the time his knee was down,” said Alvarez. “I have every respect for the police, I just don’t know what to do with the evidence. It’s overwhelming. “
The Bakersfield Police Department, which is closer to where she lives, has faced several excessive violent lawsuits in recent years and an ongoing investigation by the state Justice Department. The department says it made changes to increase public confidence after Floyd’s death.
“Immediately thereafter, we stopped using carotid retention, which is a stranglehold depending on who you speak to,” said Sgt. Robert Pair, Bakersfield Police Department information officer. “We want to work according to the will of our community, and that is the entire community.”
Experts expect Chauvin’s trial to take several weeks.