This Thursday, during the fourth day of the trial against former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of African American George Floyd, the victim’s partner confessed that they were both addicted to opiates. Another of the testimonies, that of a paramedic, assured that Floyd was already dead when he arrived at the scene, and that he was in cardiac arrest while Chauvin suffocated his neck.
With tears in the eyes. Thus began the testimony of George Floyd’s partner during the fourth day of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former policeman accused of the death of the African American. During her emotional speech, Courteney Ross explained how the couple had become addicted to the use of opiates.
“Our story is the classic story of how many people become addicted to opiates. We both suffered from chronic pain, mine in the neck and his in the back,” Ross explained to the court.
By the time the doctors stopped prescribing opioids for pain relief, it was too late: they had both become dependent. Nonetheless, Ross emphasized the many times he had tried to quit his addiction.
At today’s hearing, Ross also revealed that months before his death in March, Floyd was hospitalized for an overdose when he was questioned by defense attorney Eric Nelson.
During the fourth day of Chauvin’s trial, the prosecution focused on portraying George Floyd in his capacity as a person – what he was like, how they saw him – so the testimony of his girlfriend for more than three years was fundamental. She described him as an empathetic person, a loving father, and a lover of sports. The goal of this portrait was to steer Floyd away from the drug addiction statistics and try to humanize him.
The prosecution was the first to ask about Floyd’s use of opiates, although those who were really interested in the victim’s addiction were Chauvin’s defense lawyers, who want to argue that he died due to problems in his health and due to consumption of drugs.
The defense argued that Chauvin did “what he was trained to do” when he encountered Floyd, as with anyone else high on drugs. He based his argument on the fact that traces of fentanyl and methamphetamine were found in his body during the autopsy.
The argument of drug use is common in cases of police abuse, especially in that of police attacks against African Americans in the United States, according to the newspaper ‘The New York Times’.
Another witness, David Pleoger, a retired Minneapolis police sergeant who was on duty the night Floyd died, said officers should have ended their immobilization when Floyd stopped resisting. Still, footage from the event reveals officers calmly chatting with each other as Floyd complains that he can’t breathe to a dozen increasingly upset witnesses. “I think he has fainted,” says one of the policemen. But Chauvin did not remove the knee from the victim’s neck until the ambulance arrived.
A paramedic assured that Floyd was already dead when he arrived at the scene
The jury also heard from two paramedics who treated Floyd on the day of his death. One of them assured that the victim no longer had a pulse when they arrived to treat him.
“When I appeared he was already deceased; I left him in the hospital and he was still in cardiac arrest,” said paramedic Derek Smith during his court appearance.
Smith said they put Floyd in the ambulance and tried to resuscitate him with chest compressions and the use of a defibrillator. But his efforts were in vain, at 9:25 p.m. he was declared dead.
“He’s a human being and I was trying to give him a second chance to live,” he said about trying to revive him even when he had no pulse.
Following the paramedics’ statement, Chauvin’s defense again hinted that Floyd’s cardiac arrest could have been caused by opiate use. Something that the attorneys for the deceased’s family are trying to fight.
Ben Crump, one of the prosecution’s attorneys, issued a statement Thursday after Ross and paramedics testified, denouncing “attempts by the defense to construct a narrative in which the cause of George Floyd’s death was Fentanyl. on your system. “
“We want to remind the world, who witnessed his death on video, that George was walking, talking, laughing and breathing well before Derek Chauvin put his knee on George’s neck, blocking his ability to breathe and ending his life “Crump said.
The fact that a white ex-police officer, with 19 years of experience in the body, was involved in the death of an African American generated the largest racial demonstrations that have been seen in the United States in recent decades.
George Floyd, 46, repeated 27 times that he could not breathe before going into cardiac arrest and dying in May of last year.
With AP, EFE and local media