The trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin continued today with testimony from paramedics who responded to the scene on May 25, 2020.
Among those called upon to testify was Courteney Ross, George Floyd’s girlfriend.
Here's what happened today in Minneapolis:
Paramedic Derek Smith said that on May 25, 2020, he arrived on the scene, and saw Floyd on the ground and three officers on top of him."I walked up to the individual, noticed he wasn't moving. I didn't see any chest rise or fall on this individual," Smith said.
When asked to describe Floyd's overall condition he said, "in lay terms, I thought he was dead." Smith said that when he checked Floyd, his pupils were "large" and "dilated," and he did not detect a pulse. He said he did all he could do to try and revive Floyd. "[H]e's a human being and I was trying to give him a second chance at life," Smith said.
Fire Capt. Jeremy Norton testified that when he entered the ambulance, he saw "an unresponsive body on a cot." After following the ambulance to the hospital, Norton said he ultimately filed a report with his supervisors detailing what he saw that day.
"I was aware that a man had been killed in police custody, and I wanted to notify my supervisors to notify the appropriate people above us in the city, in the fire department and whomever else, and then I also wanted to inform my deputy that there was an off-duty firefighter, who was a witness at the scene," he added.
Courteney Ross, Floyd’s girlfriend, testified she has been in a relationship with him since August 2017 and they were together until his death. Ross provided details about Floyd and their relationship. She described Floyd as "a momma's boy," saying he was devastated and "broken" when his mother died. Ross said he tested positive for Covid-19 in "late March" and that he had been quarantining.
Ross testified that they both struggled with opioid addiction. Prosecutors were the first to ask about opioid use during the trial to get ahead of some of the defense team's arguments. Defense attorneys plan to make the case that Floyd died of unrelated medical issues and drug use, and they have argued Chauvin was following proper police protocol.
Paramedic Seth Zachary Bravinder, who provided medical assistance to Floyd, told the court that when he arrived at the scene, he could tell from a distance that Floyd wasn't breathing. He also said he stopped the ambulance en route to the hospital so he could assist his partner in giving Floyd aid after he "flatlined" — a term he used to describe when "your heart isn't really doing anything at that moment."
Retired Sgt. David Pleoger of the Minneapolis Police Department testified that the force being used by officers should have stopped earlier. “When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended the restraint,” Pleoger told the court.
He also described a phone call he had with Chauvin on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin kneeled on Floyd's neck. "I believe he told me that they had — tried to put Mr. Floyd — I didn't know his name at the time, Mr. Floyd into the car. He had become combative," Pleoger said recalling the conversation. "I think he mentioned that he had injured — either his nose or his mouth, a bloody lip, I think, and eventually after struggling with him, he suffered a medical emergency and an ambulance was called and they headed out of the scene."
Witness to invoke the Fifth Amendment: The man who was sitting in a car with Floyd when police approached and removed them from the vehicle says he will not testify in the trial. Morries Hall will invoke the Fifth Amendment and not testify if he is called to the stand, according to a filing submitted by his public defender Adrienne Cousins.