The friend of George Floyd who was in the car with him when police first approached says Floyd gave officers no reason to fear him.
“I believe the energy was set wrong when they approached him, because they approached with an energy that startled Mr. Floyd,” Maurice Lester Hall told CNN on Thursday night.
Hall said an officer reached into the vehicle to grab Floyd’s hands even as Floyd was trying to cooperate. “Once they reached for Mr. George Floyd’s hands, it took the whole situation into a turmoil that didn’t have to be,” said Hall.
Hall said he had known Floyd for years and that his friend was usually able to defuse tense situations.
“He gets ‘big guy’ status,” Hall said. “He gets extra attention, good or bad. But he knows how to conduct himself.”
Officers had separated Hall from Floyd while Floyd was being restrained with a knee on his neck. But Hall says he could hear Floyd pleading with officers that he couldn’t breathe.