Chauvin Trial Day 3: Jurors, eyewitnesses watch body cam, surveillance footage

Thursday, 01 Apr, 2021

Ross says both Floyd and her suffered from opioid addiction, and they tried to help each other with their struggles. She also recounted how they both struggled with opioid addiction.

To many, Mr Floyd's death in police custody became a symbol of police brutality - particularly against people of colour - and it sparked mass demonstrations for racial justice.

Courteney Ross, 45, Floyd's girlfriend of almost three years, took the witness stand on the fourth day of the trial of Derek Chauvin.

She said they "tried really hard to break that addiction many times".

Prosecutors are seeking to demonstrate to the jury that Mr Chauvin had no justification for using a risky neck restraint on a compliant Mr Floyd.

Ross was the first witness called by prosecutors on the fourth day of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who has been charged with murder in Floyd's death. The most serious charge against him carries up to 40 years in prison.

Eric Nelson, Chauvin's attorney, has claimed Floyd's death was caused by the drug fentanyl and underlying medical conditions and he queried Ross extensively about Floyd's history of drug use. Later Mr Floyd calls out to tell his family members that he loves them.

I'm going to always remember seeing the fear in Floyd's face because he's such a king.

Later, McMillian told Chauvin, "I don't respect what you did". But he described Mr Floyd as friendly and talkative.

"He's not moving", another witness can also be heard yelling.

"When he came back from Houston, he seemed kind of like a shell of himself", she said.

"I asked, 'is he in cardiac arrest?' And he said, 'I think so,", Bravinder recalled asking his partner after his partner checked Floyd's pulse.

Before Floyd's death, Hall had spent most of Memorial Day together with him on May 25, 2020. Floyd was a security guard at the Salvation Army at the time, and met Ross when she went to the shelter to check on her son's father.

Ross began her testimony by telling how the two of them met.

Earlier Wednesday, surveillance video was shown from inside the store where Floyd bought cigarettes with the suspected counterfeit currency before his encounter with police. "It's one of my favorite stories to tell".

She was exhausted and frustrated, Ross recalled, as she waited for the father of her son to come down.

Ross 45, often smiled as she spoke about Floyd.

"Floyd has this great Southern voice, raspy".

Under re-direct questioning from prosecutors, Ross clarified that Floyd also called his mother "mama".

"I just didn't want to have to show it (the video) to anyone", he said. Defense attorneys often complain that such testimony allows prosecutors to play on jurors' emotions. Much of her testimony focused on the couple's addiction, seemingly an attempt by prosecutors to get out in front of the argument by Chauvin's lawyer that Floyd's drug use may have led to his death or caused him to struggle more with officers as they tried to put him in a police vehicle.

McMillian stayed at the scene throughout, and is heard on various videos played in the courtroom pleading with Floyd as officers strained to push him into the squad auto at E. 38th Street and S. Chicago Avenue. The footage also showed Floyd being loaded into an ambulance.

This neighbourhood in South Minneapolis is where Floyd took his final breath with Chauvin's knee on his neck.

Video showed George Floyd crying and begging officers to "please don't shoot me" as they first approached him in a vehicle.

"We've gotta control this guy because he's a sizable guy; looks like he's probably on something", Chauvin is heard saying from the officer's body-worn camera video that was put into evidence by the prosecution. Chauvin's lawyer said the officer is 5-foot-9 and 140 pounds.