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Chauvin trial: Floyd's girlfriend describes relationship; paramedics recall scene

George Floyd Officer Trial
Posted at 8:54 AM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 17:53:19-04

The jury in the Derek Chauvin trial for the death of George Floyd heard emotional personal details and technical medical updates on Thursday.

Floyd's girlfriend, Courteney Ross detailed their relationship, which started in 2017. Ross described Floyd as a "mama's boy" who was kind and offered to pray with her when they first met. She also described how the couple struggled with opioid addiction during their time together, and that she suspected Floyd was using again in May 2020.

The defense has argued it was Floyd's drug use that caused his death.

Paramedics Derek Smith and Seth Bravinder detailed what they saw as they pulled up to the scene outside Cup Foods on May 25, 2020. They recalled the life-saving efforts they tried on Floyd.

Smith said he tried several times to get a pulse and could not find one. He said he thought Floyd was dead, but kept working to restart the heart because he wanted to give the man a second chance on life.

Below is a live blog of Thursday's court proceedings.

Court TV will be the only network with cameras in the courtroom and will provide live, gavel-to-gavel coverage.
Find Court TV's full coverage of MN v. Derek Chauvin HERE.

UPDATE, 5:45 p.m. ET: The trial ended for the day with Sergeant David Pleoger, who was Derek Chauvin's shift supervisor and was called to the scene of George Floyd's death shortly after the incident.

Pleoger was questioned on the details of Minneapolis Police's use of force policy.

Pleoger was questioned by both the defense and prosecution on the "critical decision-making model," which outlines how officers should apply use of force while considering the circumstances going into the use of force.

UPDATE, 4:10 p.m. ET: After a short break, David Pleoger, a former Minneapolis police officer who recently retired, took the stand. He was Derek Chauvin’s supervisor the night George Floyd was killed.

Pleoger said he called Chauvin after receiving a call from a dispatcher who was concerned about what had happened at the scene. During their conversation, Pleoger said Chauvin told him he had to “hold a guy down” who wouldn’t go into the back a squad car.

When asked if Chauvin mentioned anything about putting his knee on Floyd’s neck or back, Pleoger said no. The retired officer testified that a knee on the neck or back is reasonable until the person is “no longer resisting.” At that point, Pleoger agreed that the restraint should stop.

WATCH coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial HERE.

The entire trial will be on live TV as well as available online at CourtTV.com, and the Court TV app for Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android and Apple devices.

UPDATE, 3:10 p.m. ET: Minneapolis Fire Captain Jeremy Norton was called to the stand and began testifying about his experience.

Norton testified that he and his partner went to Cup Foods to look for a patient, but they were then directed to meet the medics at 36th and Park. When they arrived, Norton says he observed Floyd unconscious, face up on a stretcher with a breathing tube going into his throat and a CPR device in place to pump his heart.

Norton says he took over "ventilations" for Floyd when he arrived and continued doing them until they arrived at the hospital.

Paramedic describes what he saw when he arrived at the scene of George Floyd's killing

UPDATE, 2:30 p.m. ET: After a lunch break, prosecutors called the other paramedic who responded to the scene to the stand. Derek Smith was working with Seth Bravinder on May 25, 2020.

"When we arrived on scene, there was no medical aid being given to the patient," he recalled when they pulled up to Cup Foods.

Smith described trying to get George Floyd's pulse multiple times, trying to move the patient to get a better position to detect a pulse. He also said Floyd was not breathing when he initially assessed him.

When asked, Smith said "cardiac arrest" in "lay terms dead."

"I thought he was dead," Smith said, telling Bravinder, "I think he's dead and I want to move" Floyd away from the scene.

Smith says Floyd never regained a pulse between the time he arrived at the scene and when they arrived at the hospital.

Seth Bravinder describes having to ask officers to get off Floyd

UPDATE, 12:30 p.m. ET: State prosecutors have called paramedic Seth Bravinder to testify, he was part of the emergency crew that came up to the scene outside Cup Foods on May 25, 2020.

Bravinder describes seeing officers on top of the patient, later identified as George Floyd, when they drove up. He did not remember the patient moving or struggling.

He said when he and his partner walked up to the officers and Floyd, the officers were still on Floyd. Bravinder recalled having to make a motion and asking the officer to get off Floyd so they could move him.

His partner then checked for a pulse.

"I asked, 'is he in cardiac arrest?' And he said, 'I think so,", Bravinder recalled asking his partner. Bravinder said the phrase cardiac arrest is used for patients that do not have a pulse and their heart has stopped.

The equipment to treat a stopped heart was in the ambulance, Bravinder explained, and said there was a crowd of people yelling on the curb and so they wanted to move Floyd away from that to give him the car he needed in the most "optimum environment" they could.

Bravinder recalls putting his hand under Floyd's head when he was moved to keep it safe, and feeling that it was limp. He then outlined steps he and others took to try and restart Floyd's heart. He told the court there was no change in Floyd's condition and he didn't get a pulse during the time Bravinder was with him.

The defense asked questions about whether the paramedics used ketamine, and how Floyd's eyes appeared when they arrived, asking if a methamphetamine overdose causes dilates or constricts pupils.

Courteney Ross describes her and Floyd's drug use

UPDATE, 10:30 a.m. ET: The first witness on Thursday is Courteney Ross, a woman who met Floyd in 2017 and was in a relationship with him. 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 says both Floyd and her suffered from opioid addiction, and they tried to help each other with their struggles.

"It's something we dealt with every day," Ross told the court. Ross became emotional talking about their struggles.

She says the couple were separated for awhile, but from March to May 2020, they spent every day together.

Ross admits both her and Floyd were both using in March 2020, and they tried to help each other. In May of 2020, Ross says she suspected Floyd was using again.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson asked Ross details about the pills they took last Spring, and what kind of effect they had on her and Floyd. In March, Floyd spent time in a hospital because of a possible overdose.

The defense is arguing Floyd's death was connected to his drug use.

Nelson asked about Ross' knowledge about Morries Hall, who was with Floyd outside the Cup Foods on May 25, 2020. Hall is believed to be someone who supplied Floyd with drugs.

Under questioning from Nelson, Ross told the court her number was saved in Floyd's phone under the name "mama."

Under re-direct questioning from prosecutors, Ross clarified that Floyd also called his mother "mama." "But it was different how he said it," Ross said.

CHAUVIN TO WITNESS VIDEO

Original story below

MINNEAPOLIS - State prosecutors will be calling more witnesses Thursday in the trial against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd. Wednesday, jurors saw new video and different angles of the events that took place on May 25, 2020 outside Cup Foods.

Chauvin is facing second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter charges in connection with Floyd's death. Widely-shared video from the scene shows Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck and back for several minutes. Floyd died at the scene. The defense argues Floyd's death was drug or health-related.

Some of the videos from the scene made one witness become so overwhelmed by emotions the court had to take a short recess.

One of the newly-released videos is from Chauvin's body camera and there is audio of an exchange between him and a bystander immediately after Floyd is put in an ambulance and taken away from the scene.

The bystander, Charles McMillian told Chauvin he did not respect what he did to Floyd.

"That's one person's opinion," Chauvin responded to McMillian as he got into his squad car. "We gotta control, gotta control this guy because he's a sizable guy. It looks like he's probably on something."

Chauvin's body camera was knocked off during the initial struggle with Floyd and only captured audio. His camera was later found and placed back on his uniform.

Several witnesses for the prosecution have recalled their overwhelming emotions and guilt at watching what was happening to Floyd and feeling powerless to stop it because of the other officers on scene.

Including the clerk at the Cup Foods store who says he noticed Floyd used a counterfeit $20. He explained the store policy on counterfeit money and described how he tried to talk to Floyd about it while a co-worker called 911.

The teen described feeling "disbelief" and "guilt" about what happened to Floyd.

Video was shown of the clerk, Chris Martin, and Floyd inside the Cup Foods store.

Other video shown to the court Wednesday included the body camera footage from the other officers who arrived on the scene that day. It laid out the events of others involved in detail, from the moment they arrived on scene to after Floyd is taken away, and how they talked to bystanders and eyewitnesses afterward.

Floyd's death sparked a national wave of protests and discussions of racial inequity.

Testimony in the trial of Derek Chauvin is slated to resume Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Court TV will be the only network with cameras in the courtroom and will provide live, gavel-to-gavel coverage.

The entire trial will be on live TV as well as available online at CourtTV.com, and the Court TV app for Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android and Apple devices.

In addition to in-depth reporting and expert analysis from veteran legal journalists - most of whom are lawyers - Court TV’s extensive coverage will include new virtual recreations, and insights and discussions from attorneys, investigators and forensic experts.