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Floyd’s girlfriend, paramedics testify in Derek Chauvin trial

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KTTC) -- Day four of witness testimony in the Derek Chauvin Murder trial included emotional testimony from George Floyd's girlfriend.

Witness # 13 Courteney Batya Ross, 45

Courteney Ross

Ross is Floyd's girlfriend who he met in August of 2017.

"Floyd loved to eat a lot. He was a big man. And it took a lot of energy to keep him going. And he loved food and so did I. It was fun it was always an adventure with him," she said.

Ross told the court that she and Floyd both battled an opioid addiction, and specifically mentioned oxycontin.

"Addiction in my opinion is a lifelong struggle," she said.

She said she had chronic neck pain and Floyd had back pain.

She testified that Floyd was hospitalized in March 2020 for an overdose.
Ross also told the court that one of the two people who Floyd went to Cup Foods with, was someone who sold Floyd the drugs.

Witness #14 Seth Bravinder

Seth Bravinder

Bravinder worked as a paramedic for the Hennepin County EMS on May 25. He told the court when he was dispatched to the incident it was a "code 2" which is a non-threatening call. As they drove to the location the call turned into a "code 3" which is more critical.

He told the court when they arrived at the scene he saw police officers and "our patient."

Bravinder said once Floyd was in the ambulance, a LUCAS device and an i-gel device were used to resuscitate Floyd who was unresponsive.

"The longer the patient goes without receiving resuscitation the lower likelihood they will be resuscitated," he said.

He said firefighters also tried to help paramedics resuscitate Floyd.

Witness # 15 Derek Smith

Derek Smith

Smith is the other paramedic, Bravinder's partner. He is the paramedic who checked Floyd's pulse and pupils as officers continued to pin Floyd down.

"I thought he was dead," Smith said.

Once on the ambulance, Smith unhandcuffed Floyd, as he tried to resuscitate him. He also instructed a Minneapolis police officer, who ended up in the ambulance with them, to apply chest compressions. The officer complied.

"Any lay person can do chest compressions. There no reason Minneapolis (police officer) couldn't have started chest compressions," Smith said.

Witness #16 Capt. Jeremy Norton

Norton is a Minneapolis firefighter. He told the court firefighters arrived at the scene after paramedics left with Floyd. He said his team was looking for a patient and went inside Cup Foods, before being told by MPD officers the ambulance had already left.

The officers also told Norton the ambulance crew needed the firefighter's help.

Jeremy Norton

Norton said when they reached the ambulance, "he (Floyd) was an unresponsive body on the cot."

Witness #17 David Ploeger

David Pleoger

Ploeger is a retired Minneapolis Police Officer who served as a sergeant and supervisor on May 25. Ploeger approved reports and review use of force incidents. He said placing a knee on someone's neck is a use of force, and can be used until an officer gets control of the subject.

He said he received a call from a 911 dispatcher, who informed him of the use of force incident. He called Chauvin right after to ask about what had happened.

"We just had to hold a guy down. He was going crazy. He wouldn't go in the back of the squad," Chauvin said on a body camera recording taken during the call.

Ploeger then went to the scene, quickly left and went to the hospital Floyd was at. When Ploeger arrived at the hospital he was told Floyd was not doing well. Later Chauvin and former officer Thao Thao arrived. Ploeger was not informed until he was at the hospital that Chauvin had kneeled on Floyd. He was later informed Floyd had died.

"It was deemed a critical incident then," he said.

He explained what that means.

"Something like that when somebody passes away in police custody, a high-level call like a shooting or somebody shot and killed by police," Ploeger said.

KaMaria Braye

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