MSNBC panel wonders if Derek Chauvin's lawyer attacked the firefighter out of desperation
Firefighter and EMS officer Genevieve Hansen and lawyer on Derek Chauvin's legal team (Photo: Screen capture)

A shocking moment ended the Derek Chauvin trial court proceedings on Tuesday as the lawyer on Chauvin's defense team attacked Genevieve Hansen, a firefighter and EMS worker who was trying to help by giving George Floyd medical attention. Police refused to allow her to tend to his medical needs. Instead, she explained, they claimed that they'd sent for EMS twice.

Hansen made it clear on multiple occasions that the defense lawyer clearly didn't understand her job. He desperately clamored to try and make it seem like her entire memory was questionable because she was under "stress." She shut him down.

Reporting for NBC News, Shaq Brewster explained that those testifying are "regular people" and in the case of Hansel, she was an off-duty firefighter who was simply out for a walk when she encountered the scene. He noted that it's clear "some of the witnesses are getting frustrated," by the hostile questioning.

"I think before this instance, though, you saw some really powerful testimony," said Brewster. "She had some really bold points that she was making and she was a firefighter. She has been trained on how to resuscitate people and how to provide CPR, on how to give aid to people who need help. And what she saw at the scene that day was a man, in her words, a man who needed help, a man who needed medical attention, and she went up and she pleaded with the officers. She pleaded with them to allow her to do CPR. She told them and demanded that she -- that they check George Floyd's pulse, and she grew upset. She grew 'desperate' was her word as she watched that happen and I think that desperation that you saw in the video, as she was yelling at the officers and trying to talk to the officers, I think some of that was rubbing off in the courtroom today as she was being challenged by the defense attorney."

MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace noted that when someone is having a medical incident on a plane, the pilots or flight attendants get on the intercom and ask if there's a doctor or any medical professional on board to help.

"If someone is in medical distress, an off-duty doctor is sometimes sought out," Wallace noted. "Sometimes they make the difference between life and death, especially at 35,000 feet or in a crowded airport. So, obviously, a defense attorney has a job to do, and obviously, a judge has the order to keep in the courtroom, but jurors are human beings who heard that a trained medic was denied access to a man who we all know now was dying."

Eddie Glaude agreed, noting it would be unimaginable for a flight attendant to say "No, we already called the medic, you don't need to tend to the person."

"I mean, that doesn't make any sense," Glaude said. "It just defies common sense in so many ways. This has been hard to watch. It's been hard to watch as a person who's not a lawyer, who doesn't understand the way the court works but testimony, the testimony of the nine-year-old."

He said that he too understands that defense attorneys have a job to do, but that they can't be seen attacking minor children or sobbing witnesses while on the stand.

"All of this stuff is happening because people are seeing and noticing something that wasn't right about what they saw," Glaude said.

Wallace said that watching that as an American is what was so difficult. Americans are told "if you see something, say something," but when they did speak up, they were silenced. Now they're being attacked.

"What is the defense strategy to try to refute what everybody saw with their own eyes and heard with their own ears?" Wallace said.

Former federal prosecutor Paul Butler implied that it was a risky strategy.

"To try to persuade jurors that they shouldn't believe what they are seeing with their own eyes," he began, "The star witness remains the videotape. The prosecutors will show it as often as the judge allows. It is just devastating. But today also extraordinary testimony from that brave, teenage girl who made the video. She said Mr. Floyd reminded her of her brother and father and that he could have been any Black man. That may be the first time that race has been specifically invoked in the trial."

Rev. Al Sharpton noted that he thinks the lawyer is simply trying to do whatever they can to attack anyone hoping one of them will work.

Watch the full discussion below:


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