MINNEAPOLIS -- A man with George Floyd at the time of his arrest said his longtime friend didn't resist arrest and tried to diffuse the situation when officers began screaming at Floyd.
Maurice Lester Hall, a longtime friend, was a passenger in Floyd's car when police approached him on May 25 while responding to a call about a possible use of counterfeit money. Hall, 42, told the New York Times that Floyd was trying in his "humblest form to show he was not resisting arrest in no form or way."
"They first came up on the car using blunt force and initially they startled Floyd ... He asked him what they wanted him to do," Hall said in an interview with "Good Morning America." "They're screaming, 'Let me see your hands.' Then he puts his hands over the front steering wheel."
Floyd tried to diffuse the situation, Hall recalled: "I can hear him and see him try to stay neutral."
Hall said the situation escalated and police grabbed Floyd, put him in a squad car, dragged him back out and then "jumped on the back of the neck." Police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, placed his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd said he couldn't breathe before he was killed, according to the criminal complaint.
Hall said Floyd was crying out for help because he was dying, adding that police officers eventually dragged Floyd into an ambulance.
That night, Hall said he checked county jail records to try and locate his friend. It was not until the next day that he found out that Floyd had died.
He said he'll always remember seeing the fear in his friend's face: "Him begging for his life, actually being scared, feeling the reaper. That's what's going to stick with me."
"He's a gentle giant. That's just Big Floyd," Hall said, describing Floyd.
Hall has been interviewed by Minnesota authorities and is a key witness in the state's investigation into the four officers who apprehended Floyd. All four officers were fired and charged.
The Associated Press and ABC News contributed to this report.