George Floyd did not resist arrest as he pleaded with police officers before his death in Minneapolis, a friend told The New York Times Wednesday.
Maurice Lester Hall, 42, was with Floyd in his car during the arrest that led to his death, the Times reported. The paper tracked Hall down in Houston, where he said he fled two days after witnessing the death of his mentor.
Hall described Floyd as a fellow Houston native he had known for years, adding that they spent most of Memorial Day together before the fatal police encounter.
"He was, from the beginning, trying in his humblest form to show he was not resisting in no form or way," Hall told the Times. "I could hear him pleading, 'Please, officer, what's all this for?'"
Since Floyd died on May 25, throngs of protesters have flooded the streets to demand the arrest of all four officers involved.
Authorities initially arrested Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who pinned Floyd to the ground by his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds before he died. Prosecutors charged him with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. But on Wednesday he was also charged with a second-degree murder count.
Three other former officers who were at the scene were also arrested Wednesday and charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
Hall says he will never forget what he saw that day.
“He was just crying out at that time for anyone to help because he was dying,” Hall told the Times. “I’m going to always remember seeing the fear in Floyd’s face because he’s such a king. That’s what sticks with me, seeing a grown man cry before seeing a grown man die.”