Derek Chauvin is on trial for George Floyd's death


A paramedic has testified at the high-profile trial of the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd that the 46-year-old black man was already dead when he arrived. "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 humanise 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 empathise with what he went through.

The defence has argued Mr Chauvin did what he was trained to do and Mr Floyd's death was caused instead by his illegal drug use, underlying health conditions and the adrenaline flowing through his body.

In a central dispute of the trial, his lawyers have argued that Mr Floyd's death, ruled a homicide at the hands of police, was really an overdose caused by the fentanyl found in his blood at autopsy.

During testimony Wednesday, jurors heard from an employee of the store that Floyd visited shortly before his death and saw new video of the arrest from the market.

Pleoger testified that police department policy requires officers to call an ambulance and render aid while waiting for an ambulance in addition to positioning the subject on their side so they can breathe better.

Bravinder describes seeing officers on top of the patient, later identified as George Floyd, when they drove up.

"And that was when he was handcuffed and on the ground and no longer resistant?" prosecutor Steve Schleicher asked.

Chauvin, 45, who is white, faces two murder charges - second-degree unintentional murder and third-degree murder - in the death of Floyd on May 25, 2020. The incident triggered scattered violence around the US and widespread soul-searching over racism and police brutality.

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

Ms Ross was asked whether Mr Floyd had purchased pills previously from Morries Hall, who was with him the day that he died.

The lawyers for Mr. Floyd's family said thousands of people who are addicted to drugs "are treated with dignity, respect and support, not brutality".

She said they both had prescriptions, and when those ran out, they took the prescriptions of others and also used illegal drugs.

Chauvin told Pleoger: "I was just going to call you and have you come out to our scene here", according to a clip of their conversation played in the Hennepin County District Court in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday. In the months that followed, Ross said, she and Floyd spent a lot of time together during the coronavirus shutdown, and Floyd was clean.

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"Addiction, in my opinion, is a lifelong struggle", she said. In May of 2020, Ross says she suspected Floyd was using again.

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

Smith said he checked the carotid artery in Floyd's neck to see if he had a pulse.

"I thought, I was exhausted", she continued. We went to the ER, and they were checking him out in the ER, and it was getting late. "In my mind at least, we wanted to get away from that".

"I didn't feel safe", the teen said.

Prompted by Chauvin's defense attorney Eric Nelson, Bravinder said that they made a decision to drive away in part because the tense crowd could potentially distract them from their work. The footage also showed Floyd being loaded into an ambulance.

He said that en route to the hospital, he stopped the ambulance to help his colleague treat Floyd because his heart "flatlined".

Ross also spoke about how she and Floyd struggled with opioid addiction. 'In layman's terms? I thought he was dead, ' he told court.

After the defence attorney asked if the crowd had been "upset or angry", she hit back: "I don't know if you've seen anybody be killed, but it's upsetting".

She was waiting in the lobby to see the father of her son, exhausted after closing up the coffee shop where she worked. But she got upset that day because the father was not coming to the lobby to discuss their son's birthday.

When Ross was shown a photograph of Floyd, one of several pictures of him that were shared widely after his death, she described it through laughs and tears as a "Dad selfie" because of the low angle from which he had taken it.

"Floyd has this great Southern voice, raspy".

At the behest of Eldridge, Smith recalled the step-by-step the actions he took on that day, saying, "I walked up to the individual, noticed he wasn't moving".

"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", she continued. "At the time I had lost a lot of faith in God".