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Derek Chauvin trial: George Floyd’s girlfriend recalls struggles with addiction in emotional testimony

In her emotional testimony, Courteney Ross — George Floyd’s girlfriend and the 13th prosecution witness in the trial against Derek Chauvin — told the jury about her three-year relationship with Floyd.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
April 3, 2021 10:54:54 am
Witness Courteney Ross answers questions as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides Thursday, April 1, 2021, in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin (Court TV via AP, Pool)

The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd, continued into its fourth day on Tuesday, with Floyd’s former girlfriend tearfully recounting how the couple shared an addiction to opioids and painkillers, which they had struggled to overcome in the weeks before his death.

In her emotional testimony, Courteney Ross — Floyd’s girlfriend and the 13th prosecution witness in the case — told the jury about her three-year relationship with Floyd. As she tearfully narrated the story to the jury, she said they tried to break their addiction many times. The two suffered from chronic pain and were addicted to opioids and painkillers, when their prescriptions ran out, they would take other people’s prescriptions and even partake in illegal drugs.

Ross said that in March 2020 Floyd had overdosed and had to be taken to the hospital. While the two were living together during the Covid-19 lockdowns, Floyd remained clean. She further said that two weeks before his death, she suspected he began using drugs again as his behaviour became erratic. She did not specify whether he was on opioids the day of his death, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, the defence in the case has indicated that they will use Floyd’s drug usage, underlining health conditions and adrenaline to argue that the use of force by the police officers was reasonable. An autopsy found fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system. Medical experts have said that the amount of fentanyl found in his system could be fatal for some while regular users can develop a tolerance to it.

Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020 while being restrained by the police. Video footage of the incident, which was broadcast by the media and went viral on social media platforms, showed an officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he gasped for breath.

The death led to protests, mostly under the “Black Lives Matter” movement, across the world.

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