Derek Chauvin trial continues Friday, shorter day expected

FOX 9  You Tube Courtney Ross girlfriend of George Floyd at the trial of Derek Chauvin

Nelson has subpoenaed Hall to testify when the defense presents its case, and has told the jury that Hall and a woman in the auto would tell them that they saw Floyd swallow two pills before police arrived on May 25 and that he fell into a deep sleep.

Ross wept through much of her testimony as she told the court about how she met Floyd, their relationship, and their battle with addiction to painkillers.

However, prosecutor Matthew Frank tried to downplay the potential toxicity of those pills, getting Ross to agree that, obviously, neither she or Floyd had died from ingesting them in March or May.

Mr Bravinder said after he drove the ambulance three blocks and jumped in back to help his partner, a monitor showed that Mr Floyd had flatlined - his heart had stopped. "But after prescriptions that were filled and we got addicted and tried really hard to break that addiction many times".

Prosecutors put Ross on the stand as part of an effort to humanize Floyd in front of the jury and portray him as more than a crime statistic, and also apparently explain his drug use to the jurors and perhaps get them to empathize with what he went through. Likewise, subduing and securing persons-they way Floyd was secured-was also in policy since officers believed Floyd was experiencing excited delirium: a drug-induced state described as a combination of delirium and psychomotor agitation.

Also Thursday, a paramedic who arrived on the scene that day testified that the first call was a Code 2, for someone with a mouth injury, but it was upgraded a minute and a half later to Code 3 - a life-threatening incident that led them to turn on the lights and siren.

The most serious charge against him carries up to 40 years in prison.

The paramedic confirmed what we could see on the police body camera, that he actually had to tap Chauvin to get him to take his knee off Floyd's neck and that even while he was trying to take Floyd's pulse his knee was still on his neck. The defense has argued Floyd's death was caused by his drug use, underlying health conditions and the adrenaline flowing through his body.

Fentanyl and methamphetamine was found in Mr Floyd's system during an autopsy.

In some of the video, Mr Floyd can be heard calling out, "Mama!" repeatedly and saying, "Mama, I love you!".

Ross, 45, said she and Floyd had started taking opioids when they were prescribed for chronic pain, but that both had continued to take the pills after the prescriptions had run out. She said they also took the prescriptions of others, as well as illegal drugs.

She says the couple were separated for awhile, but from March to May 2020, they spent every day together. "It's not something that comes and goes, it's something I'll deal with forever".

The white police officer on trial, Chauvin, is charged with murder and manslaughter.

Floyd had been "clean" after that, she said, but he appeared to have begun using pills again in the two weeks before his death.

She told of some particularly strong drugs that Floyd had obtained that she had taken as well, which packed a punch. And he asked me if he could get my number and we had our first kiss in the lobby. She said: "It's one of my favourite stories to tell".

The witness said she had gone to the shelter because her sons' father was staying there.

Mr Bravinder also told the court that when he and Mr Smith arrived Mr Floyd was "unresponsive".

"Floyd has this great Southern voice, raspy". "I was like, 'No, I'm just waiting for my sons" father.' He said, 'Can I pray with you?'".

She added: "At the time, I had lost a lot of faith in God".

Defence attorney Eric Nelson, left, and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, right.

Minnesota is a rarity in explicitly permitting such "spark of life" testimony about a crime victim ahead of a verdict. Defense attorneys often contend such testimony allows prosecutors to play on jurors' emotions.

A day earlier, prosecutors played surveillance footage from inside Cup Foods, the convenience store where a clerk reported that Mr. Floyd had used a fake $20 bill, showing Mr. Floyd in the minutes before the police arrived.

"They were still on top of him", Bravinder told the jury.

Officers eventually give up, and Mr Floyd thanks them - and then is taken to the ground, face down and handcuffed.

In one portion of the trial, eyewitness Charles McMillian described what he saw during the altercation between Chauvin and George Floyd. "We gotta control, gotta control this guy because he's a sizable guy".

Floyd was 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds, according to the autopsy.