Omar told CNN‘s State of the Union on Sunday that it’s “been really hard” for many people of color or minorities to watch the ongoing Chauvin trial which is set to reconvene Monday after a week of at-times very emotional testimony. The Minnesota Democrat said many in the community have expressed that it’s “retraumatizing” to watch the video that shows Floyd’s death on May 25 of last year. But she reiterated that Minneapolis residents “have each other” as they grit their teeth and watch the trial, witnesses and facts get laid out in the Hennepin County courtroom.
“I’ve tried to avoid watching it,” Omar said. “I know a lot of us here in Minneapolis have done that, but it’s hard right? You want to know the details, you want to hear the witnesses.”
She noted that one key fact from the trial is that the cell phone recording showing Floyd’s death is actually nine minutes and 26 seconds—not 8 minutes and 46 seconds as protesters said for months prior.
“Everyone who took the witness stand said they felt helpless. That is a feeling we know really well here in Minneapolis when it comes to police abuse. I remember feeling helpless 20 years ago when I witnessed police officers unload three dozen rounds on mentally ill Somali men in the middle of the street.”
Omar said the Minneapolis community is on “edge” that Chauvin may be found not guilty by the jury. She said many have this sentiment even though Hennepin County prosecutors have repeatedly expressed “a lot of confidence” they’ll be able to achieve a guilty verdict on the murder and manslaughter charges against the former police officer.
“We have seen justice not delivered in our community for many years,” Omar responded after CNN host Jake Tapper asked if she’s “prepared” for a potential “not guilty” verdict in the trial.
“It has been really horrendous to watch the defense put George Floyd on trial instead of the former police officer who’s charged with his murder.”
She noted that numerous witnesses have broken down in tears on the stand, particularly over the video showing Floyd’s final moments under the knee of ex-Minneapolis officer Chauvin.
In the same interview, Omar praised Major League Baseball (MLB) for deciding to pull its All-Star game from the city of Atlanta in response to Georgia’s new restrictive voting law. The legislation has been criticized by several Georgia-based companies, including Delta and Coca-Cola.
Newsweek reached out to Omar’s Minnesota congressional offices for additional details or reaction Sunday afternoon.