A 10-year-old witness at the trial of Derek Chauvin says she felt “kind of proud” when she heard on TV that he’d been pronounced guilty.
“My mom said that we brought change. My dad said, ‘We won,’” Judeah Reynolds told Good Morning America on Wednesday.
Judeah was just nine years old when she dragged her teenage cousin, Darnella Frazier, to a Cup Foods grocery store in Minneapolis to buy some candy. Outside the store, the children saw George Floyd being pinned to the ground by police, and Ms Frazier’s video of the incident went viral. Both cousins were called as witnesses at Mr Chauvin’s trial, where he was convicted of murder.
In court, Judeah described the traumatic experience of watching Mr Chauvin’s knee on Mr Floyd’s neck.
“It felt like he was stopping his breathing and it’s kind of, like, hurting him,” Judeah told the court.
Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell later recalled Judeah’s words in his closing arguments.
“Ultimately, it really isn’t that complicated,” Mr Blackwell said as the trial came to a close. “And what it is you have to decide is so simple that a child could understand it. In fact, a child did understand it when the nine-year-old girl said, ‘Get off of him.’ That’s how simple it was.”
On Wednesday, Judeah was a little shy as she answered questions from GMA’s Robin Roberts. A family friend who was with her, Latoya Turk, had more to say.
“For Judeah, I don’t think she realises the magnitude that she has changed the world,” Ms Turk said, pointing out that if Judeah hadn’t persuaded her cousin to walk to Cup Foods, she wouldn’t have been there to film her video – and the world might not have seen what happened to Mr Floyd.
“We absolutely know that if not for Judeah we wouldn’t have been in that position at that time, so if not for Judeah there would have been no walk to the store for snacks and the video," Ms Turk said.
These days Judeah is writing a picture book about her experience, entitled Judeah’s Walk to the Store. The book is set to be published by Beaver’s Pond Press later this year.
“I’ve got a lot to express in my book. I can’t wait,” the young author told the Chicago Tribune.
Her cousin, Ms Frazier, also expressed her feelings upon learning of the guilty verdicts.
“I just cried so hard,” she wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “This last hour my heart was beating so fast, I was so anxious, anxiety bussing [sic] through the roof. But to know GUILTY ON ALL 3 CHARGES!!!”
“George Floyd we did it!!” she added. “Justice has been served.”
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