NEW YORK — There was emotional testimony on the fourth day of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial.
He’s accused of killing handcuffed crime suspect George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for almost nine and a half minutes.
Floyd’s girlfriend, Courteney Ross testified about their on and off almost three year relationship. She cried as she recalled how they met. In Aug. 2017, she’d gone to the Salvation Army facility where Floyd worked as a security guard.
She intended to see the father of her two boys but she said he never came to the lobby and she was upset.
That’s when Floyd came over.
“He said ‘well, can I pray with you?’,” Ross told the jury. “I thought, I was so tired. We’d been through so much, my sons and I. For this kind person just to come up to me and say can I pray with you, when I felt alone in this lobby. It was so sweet. At the time, I had had lost a lot of faith in God.”
On the witness stand, Ross said she and George Floyd struggled with opioid addiction during the time she knew him. She also said she believed Floyd also used amphetamines. But she said he was very athletic and active.
That testimony is seen as the prosecution’s effort to reveal Floyd’s drug use and to underscore that Chauvin’s actions were a proximate cause of his death.
The paramedics who arrived on the scene also testified.
Initially they were told the call involved someone with some kind of mouth problem. About ninety seconds later they were told it was more serious and put on their lights and siren.
Paramedic Seth Bravinder testified about what he saw when he first arrived on the scene.
“I assumed that there was potentially some struggle still because they were still on top of him,” Bravinder said. “I didn’t see any breathing or movement or anything like that.”
They put Floyd into the ambulance but it seemed as if it was already too late. Bravinder said they never saw any signs that he might be reviving.
Bravinder’s paramedic partner Derek Smith also testified.
He made it simple when asked what he thought when he first checked for a pulse on George Floyd and found none.
“In lay terms, I thought he was dead,” Smith said.