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Takeaways From the Second Day of the Derek Chauvin Trial

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The second day of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who is accused of killing George Floyd, was marked by emotional testimony from witnesses who recounted what they saw and how it left them feeling traumatized. Six people testified in all, including four witnesses who were younger than 18 on the day of Mr. Floyd’s arrest.

Prosecutors walked through the arrest minute by minute with the witnesses. The youngest of them testified off camera, though viewers could hear them in real time. At times, their voices wavered as they recalled the events of May 25, and attorneys gave them time between questions to collect themselves. Here are the highlights of the second day.

  • The testimony of the young witnesses included the grief and anger felt so profoundly by people across the country in the days and weeks after Mr. Floyd’s death. Their presence made another point as well: They have become victims themselves. The trauma of seeing a man lose consciousness while they could do nothing to stop it clearly left its mark, as made evident by their tears as they testified.

  • The young witnesses told consistent versions of what they saw, and all said they believed at the time that something was going horribly wrong. “I almost walked away at first because it was a lot to watch,” said one witness, a high school senior, whose full name was not given in court. “But I knew that it was wrong and I couldn’t just walk away, even though I couldn’t do anything about it.”

  • The most emotionally jarring testimony came from Darnella Frazier, who took a video of the arrest that helped ignite protests across the country. Ms. Frazier expressed regret for not physically confronting Mr. Chauvin but said she ultimately believed the former officer was at fault for Mr. Floyd’s death. “It’s been nights I stayed up apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life,” Ms. Frazier said, adding that she has often reflected on the similarities of her Black family members and Mr. Floyd. She worries for their safety and her own. “I look at how that could have been one of them.”

  • Mr. Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, had a testy exchange with a mixed martial arts fighter who was at the scene of the arrest and testified on Monday and Tuesday. On Tuesday, Mr. Nelson argued that the witness, Donald Williams II, did not have enough medical or police training experience to analyze Mr. Floyd’s cause of death. Previously, Mr. Williams had testified that the placement of Mr. Chauvin’s knee could have caused Mr. Floyd to suffocate. The defense also highlighted the loud crowd that formed on the sidewalk and yelled at the police officers during the arrest. Mr. Williams pushed back on the attorney’s description, saying, “You can’t paint me out to be angry.”

  • Prosecutors continued to focus on how long Mr. Chauvin kept his knee on Mr. Floyd, pinning him to the street. While the defense may argue that use of force was necessary, prosecutors will want to convince the jury that the amount of time was unreasonable and unlawful. Even if the defense can effectively argue that force was necessary at first, prosecutors want to show that Mr. Chauvin kept Mr. Floyd pinned even after he lost consciousness.

  • Genevieve Hansen, a Minneapolis firefighter and emergency medical technician, also gave emotional testimony, wiping tears from her eyes as she recalled witnessing the arrest. Ms. Hansen, 27, had urged police officers to take Mr. Floyd’s pulse. She also called 911 at the time — making her the third witness who called the police on the police.

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