Chauvin attorney questions Floyd girlfriend about drug use

Ruben Fields
April 2, 2021

As witness Charles McMillian tried to tell Floyd when the officers first put their hands on him: "You can't win". "But after prescriptions that were filled and we got addicted and tried really hard to break that addiction many times". "We both suffer from chronic pain".

The video footage of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd's neck last May was watched around the world.

"They said, if he keep talking, well, he can breathe", McMillian said.

Chauvin, who is white, was sacked by the city's police department the day after he was captured on video with his knee on the neck of Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, and has pled not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges. The most serious charge against the now-fired officer carries up to 40 years in prison.

Prompted by Chauvin's defense attorney Eric Nelson, Bravinder said that they chose to drive away in part because the tense crowd could potentially distract them from their work.

Mr Floyd was 6ft 4in and 223lbs, according to the post-mortem examination, which also found fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system.

George Floyd's girlfriend tearfully told a jury Thursday the story of how they met - at a Salvation Army shelter where he was security guard with "this great, deep Southern voice, raspy" - and how they both struggled mightily with an addiction to opioids.

She said: "It's one of my favourite stories to tell".

"If I would've just not tooken the bill, this could've been avoided", Martin lamented, joining the burgeoning list of witnesses who expressed a sense of helplessness and lingering guilt over Floyd's death.

The charge of trying to use a counterfeit bill would have been a simple misdemeanour under Minnesota law, and in many cases that can be handled with a ticket, said Mylan Masson, who once headed police training at Hennepin Technical College and served on the Minnesota Police Officers Standards and Training Board for more than 20 years.

On the footage, a distressed Floyd says repeatedly that he "can't breathe" and calls for his mother until he eventually passes out.

"May I tell the story?" she asked.

'Can I pray with you?'

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She said Floyd had been hospitalized for several days in March 2020 for an overdose.

Floyd said over and over that he was claustrophobic as he struggled to avoid being forced into the squad auto.

But she suspected he began using again about two weeks before his death because his behavior changed: She said there would be times when he would be up and bouncing around, and other times when he would be unintelligible.

Ms Ross began by telling how the two of them met.

"I pled and was desperate", she testified on Tuesday, dressed in her Minneapolis Fire Department uniform of a white shirt with a badge and black tie.

She was waiting in the lobby to see the father of her son, exhausted after closing up the coffee shop where she worked. As she was visibly upset in a corner of the lobby and worrying about her children, the "raspy"-voiced Floyd asked if he could pray with her". They have testified that their voices became progressively louder and more urgent, and the insults they directed at Chauvin more pointed, only because they saw Floyd's condition deteriorating and feared they were watching a man being killed before their eyes. "I was exhausted. We've been through so much, my sons and I, and (for) this kind person just to come up and say, 'Can I pray with you?'.it was so sweet".

She added: "At the time, I had lost a lot of faith in God". Defence attorneys often contend such testimony allows prosecutors to play on jurors' emotions.

The defence has argued that Chauvin did what he was trained to do and Mr Floyd's death was caused by drug use, heart disease, high blood pressure and the adrenaline flowing through his body.

Paramedic Derek Smith, who treated Floyd alongside Bravinder, echoed much of what Bravinder said on the stand during his own testimony. When Floyd refused to head back to the store, was when the police were called in. Bravinder said they loaded Floyd into the ambulance so he could get care "in an optimum environment" but also so paramedics could get away from the scene.

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

"That's one person's opinion", Chauvin could be heard responding.

"We had to control this guy because he's a sizable guy".

Chauvin's lawyer said the officer is 5ft 9in and 140lbs.

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