“When the whole world was finding out that they murdered George Floyd,” he said, “I went and said a prayer where I witnessed him take his last breath, and I left.”
Mr. Hall said he had left dinner with his family late this Monday evening when their car was surrounded by at least a dozen law enforcement officers. After his arrest, he was questioned for hours by a Minnesota state investigator about Mr. Floyd’s death — not about his warrants. Mr. Hall was then transferred to the Harris County Jail in Houston, and on Tuesday, he returned to his home in the city, after his lawyers fought for his release.
“When Mr. Hall’s family found us, he had been isolated in jail for 10 hours after being interrogated until 3 a.m.,” said Ashlee C. McFarlane, a partner at Gerger Khalil Hennessy & McFarlane, who is representing Mr. Hall. “This is not how you treat a key witness, especially one that had just seen his friend murdered by police. Even with outstanding warrants, this should have been done another way.”
“I knew what was happening, that they were coming. It was inevitable,” Mr. Hall said in the interview with The Times. “I’m a key witness to the cops murdering George Floyd, and they want to know my side. Whatever I’ve been through, it’s all over with now. It’s not about me.”
Mr. Hall and Mr. Floyd, both Houston natives, had connected in Minneapolis through a pastor and had been in touch every day since 2016. Mr. Hall said that he considered Mr. Floyd a confidant and a mentor, like many in the community, and that he went back to Houston because the “only ties I had in Minnesota that had me Houston-rooted was George.”
Agents of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is building the state’s case against Mr. Chauvin and the three other officers involved in the Floyd case, “attempted to contact Mr. Hall numerous times to no avail,” said Bruce Gordon, a spokesman for the bureau.
Mr. Hall said that he was distraught and working through his trauma with his family, and was not taking phone calls in the days immediately after.