George Floyd's girlfriend smiled through tears as she told a jury on Thursday how they first met when he offered to pray with her, less than three years before his deadly arrest, and described how they both struggled with opioid addiction.
[COURTENEY ROSS, FORMER GIRLFRIEND OF GEORGE FLOYD’S]: “Floyd has this great, deep, Southern voice, raspy, and he’s like ‘Sis, you okay, sis?’ And I wasn’t….” George Floyd’s girlfriend smiled through tears as she told a jury on Thursday how she and the man she referred to simply as “Floyd” met at a Salvation Army shelter, where he worked as a security guard, less than three years before his deadly arrest.
Courteney Ross said she was waiting in the lobby to see the father of her son, tired from having closed up the coffee shop where she worked, when she was approached by Floyd.
“He said, ‘Can I pray with you?’ And 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 said they had their first kiss that night and, but for the occasional break, were together until his death.
Ross was the first person who actually knew Floyd to testify in the trial of ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin, who is accused of killing Floyd last May.
She was also open about how she and Floyd both struggled with opioid addiction.
“It’s a classic story of how many people get addicted to opioids.
We both suffered from chronic pain.
Mine was in my neck and his was in his back.
We both have prescriptions.” [PROSECUTOR]: “When you weren’t using prescriptions, where did you get them?” [ROSS]: “Off the street, on the black market.” In a central dispute of the trial, Chauvin’s lawyers have argued that Floyd's death, ruled a homicide at the hands of police, was really an overdose caused by the fentanyl found in his blood.
EMS worker Seth Bravinder said when he and his partner arrived outside Cup Foods - where Floyd was suspected of passing a fake $20 bill earlier – police were on top of Floyd, who appeared to be not breathing and had no pulse.
His first thought was that some kind of struggle was going on, but it quickly became clear that Floyd was limp.
[PROSECUTOR, OFF CAMERA]: “When you were standing outside, and your partner was approaching the patient, did you see a struggle of any kind going on?” [BRAVINDER] "No." [UPSOUND OF EYEWITNESS CHARLES MCMILLIAN, CRYING] It’s been an emotional first week of testimony, as at least three eyewitnesses to the incident have broken down in tears, including passerby Charles McMillan, one of the first to notice Floyd’s arrest.
“I felt helpless.” Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges.