A highlight from The People in the Neighborhood
Yes. I want to rent something by all ears. Well first of all how much of that. Derek chauvin trial did you watch you know. Not much I did catch clips that were shared through social media. So i did catch bits and pieces of the testimony but i did not have my tv on catching the coverage fulltime. Absolutely not how about you. I once it was clear that i was seeing thing that i'd never seen before. Just i couldn't not watch it I was struck by the the gathering of all these people who witnessed derek chauvin being top. George floyd that day on the corner of thirty eighth in chicago in minneapolis minnesota and their explanation of what their relationship was to the incident. Why they were there in the first place but one of the first things that came to mind. Were sesame street. My man what are you talking about. That is the wildest thing you could have said. That is the i trust in the thought process. But you have to understand us. The wildest thing you said in the reason why was that. There was something about this idea of of a community announcing itself or being formed in the presence of this of this awfulness. And i thought about. Who are the people in your neighborhood right. You know that the song you know. Who are the people in your neighborhood in your neighborhood. And about mr hooper. Who owned the grocery store on sesame st louis and gordon and you know big bird and grover and maria and all these people they're not just individuals right together they form this ecosystem that becomes what we in the audience. Understand to be sesame street and these are the people in this neighborhood who happened to be there on the corner of thirty eight th street and chicago avenue where the gathering spot was one of those one stop mini. Marts was called cup foods and you know there was the store clerk and the police officer and some mna fighter and firefighter. These people were grownups and they were twenty eight years old. You just had this gamut of life and watching them there that day on the stand i just was struck by how this disparate collection of human beings united. Do tell a story about how a man lost his life right. Geno if you happen to see donald williams who is the mixed martial arts fighter. He was a voice in the video. But i didn't know who he was but he testified right and the defense attorney asks him what he's saying to derek chauvin while derek chauvin is on top of george floyd you call them a tough guy you call them bogus e call them a bum. At least thirteen times it does terms grew more and more angry. Would you agree without grew more more pleading for life art. That's actually what got me interested in the trial to be honest because the way he's talking about how his emotions will and will not be used against him. The spatial awareness. He has around what the defense is going to try to depict him as and his refusal to play into these dynamics of stereotypes of an angry black man blew me away so again sir. It's fair to say that you grew angrier and angrier professional a professional stadium body. You can't pay me out to be angry. he was not gonna play into. I felt really proud of him for what he was trying to do. In terms of voice his upset and not have his emotions used against him which is such an old historic tactic for black people in this country. Right and it felt old and new in the same moment in this way. That was so powerful to me right and the next day genevieve. Hanson testified and. She is the firefighter who was off duty that day and she tried to use a professional training with respect to cpr and lifesaving to direct the police in how to care for george floyd checked his airway would've been worried about his spinal cord injury because he had so much weight on his neck. I would have opened his airway to check their any obstructions and offers were obviously rebuffed. When you couldn't do that how did that make you feel totally distress frustrated. You know. i didn't see that that testimony but hearing you talk about it is making me. Think so much about why people are calling for less policing rate. I mean this person is a firefighter. They are trained to save lives full. Stop ask questions later right. The police actually did the opposite. They show up. They assess the threat. And sometimes people die. And it's interesting to think about this woman describing what she would have done had she been able to give the chance would have given him medical care. She inherently saw his life as valuable. And i mean that is embedded in what. The organizers of minneapolis want from police reforms. They actually want there to be emergency responders out police in emergencies because of that approach and their training and that orientated in their mindsets and it was just so so clarifying to me to hear that then there was christopher martin who was nineteen and was the cub foods clerk. Who told his manager of george. Floyd was trying to use a fake twenty dollar bill to buy a pack of cigarettes and in his testimony. He talked about how he had tried. Two times to get. George floyd to come back into the store to settle things before the manager called the police and you know he says at some point if i would have just not taken the bill. This could have been avoided. You standing there with your hands on your head for awhile. Correct was going through mind during that time period disbelief.