Drama in Chauvin trial as key witness for Floyd refuses to testify

Describing Floyd as a “king,” Hall said he’d speak up about the events of that day on his friend’s behalf.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

After speaking to media outlets about the killing of George Floyd in May 2020, a self-described “key witness” in the trial of the police officer accused of murdering Floyd has informed the court he will be pleading the fifth.

“Mr. Morries Lester Hall, through undersigned counsel, hereby provides notice to all parties in this matter that if called to testify he will invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination,” wrote his attorney, assistant public defender Adrienne Cousins.

“Therefore, counsel for Mr. Hall respectfully moves this court to quash the subpoena … and release Mr. Hall from any obligations therein.”

Prosecutors had expected to leverage Hall as a star witness during criminal proceedings against Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer currently facing third-degree murder charges for his role in Floyd’s death.

Hall, a close friend of Floyd’s who witnessed the killing, told the New York Times in June 2020 that Floyd had been compliant during the arrest.

“He was, from the beginning, trying in his humblest form to show he was not resisting in no form or way,” said Hall. “I could hear him pleading, ‘Please, officer, what’s all this for?’”

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Describing Floyd as a “king,” Hall said he’d speak up about the events of that day on his friend’s behalf.

“I walk with Floyd,” he told the Times. “I know that I’m going to be his voice.”

It’s unclear what led Hall to decide that he’d no longer cooperate with the prosecution. The day of Floyd’s death, Hall had multiple outstanding warrants for charges ranging from felony possession of a firearm, felony domestic assault and felony drug possession. He gave a false name to officers at the scene, then fled to Texas.

Several days later, he was arrested and taken to county jail in Houston. There, he was questioned by Minneapolis detectives about the events of the day, including Floyd’s death and Chauvin’s actions.