He believes it’s this lack of accountability that emboldened Chauvin to remain kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, even as the 46-year-old man repeatedly cried out that he couldn’t breathe and a group of onlookers, filming the scene on their cellphones, screamed for him to get up off him.

“What we saw was that the crowd was demanding that he get up and he was staring right back at them defiantly. ‘You don’t tell me what to do. I do what I want to do. You people have no control over me. I’m going to show you,’” Ellison portrayed Chauvin as saying through his actions.

As for Chauvin’s motive, Ellison defended his decision not to pursue a hate crime charge against him, reasoning that there was no supporting evidence that Chauvin was targeting Floyd based on his race. If he had a witness willing to testify to having heard Chauvin make a racial reference during Floyd’s arrest and consequential death, he said, that might have changed things.

This content was originally published here.

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