George Floyd’s girlfriend gave a glimpse into her deceased partner’s history of drug abuse and struggles with addiction in court on Thursday.
Courteney Ross testified about how she met Floyd, their life together, and their shared struggle with addiction and drug abuse. Her testimony comes as former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin stands trial for second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
Chauvin’s defense team has argued that drugs played a crucial role in Floyd’s death. Ross said that both she and Floyd struggled with opioid addiction and that she suspected that Floyd had relapsed several months before his encounter with the Minneapolis police in May based on the way he was behaving.
“Both Floyd and I, our story is a classic story is of how we both get addicted to opioids,” she testified, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “We got addicted and tried really hard to break that addiction many times.”
Ross described an incident in March where she rushed Floyd to the hospital after he complained of stomach pains.
“I went to go pick Floyd up from his house that night. I thought I was taking him to work. He wasn’t feeling good. His stomach really hurt. He was doubled over in pain, just wasn’t feeling well, and he said he had to go to the hospital, so I took him straight to the hospital,” Ross said. “We went to the ER and they were checking him out in the ER and it was getting late and I had to get home to my son, so I left that Friday night.”
She learned later that Floyd had overdosed that night, and that was why he needed to be hospitalized. She did not know on what Floyd had overdosed. Ross also stated, in response to a question, that she was unaware that Floyd had allegedly taken heroin.
George Floyd’s girlfriend, Courteney Ross testifies she rushed him to the hospital after an overdose 2 months before his fatal encounter with police
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 1, 2021
Later in the trial, Ross confirmed that Floyd was with Morries Hall, who had sold both her and Floyd drugs, at the time of Floyd’s arrest in May. She said that the pills she and Floyd got in May reminded her of some she took in March that kept her up all night and left her feeling jittery, and that she believed they came from Hall, but was she was not sure, according to the Star-Tribune.
Earlier, while talking to the FBI, Ross had said that those pills she and Floyd got had left her feeling like she was going to die.
Chauvin was one of four arresting officers who detained Floyd in May after receiving a report of a man passing fake money at a convenience store. While detaining Floyd, Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Chauvin’s attorneys argue that Floyd’s drug use was a crucial factor in his death. The Hennepin County medical examiner reported after Floyd’s autopsy that the deceased had potentially lethal levels of drugs in his system.
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