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George Floyd’s girlfriend recalls the first time they met

Police body cam video shows Minneapolis police officers attempting to remove George Floyd from a vehicle on May 25, 2020 minutes before his death.

Police body cam video shows Minneapolis police officers attempting to remove George Floyd from a vehicle on May 25, 2020 minutes before his death.Credit:AP

Seth Bravinder said he saw no signs that Floyd was breathing or moving, and it appeared he was in cardiac arrest. A second paramedic, Derek Smith, testified that he checked for a pulse and couldn’t detect one: “In layman’s terms? I thought he was dead.”

Bravinder said they loaded Floyd into the ambulance so he could get care “in an optimum environment,” but also because bystanders “appeared very upset on the sidewalk,” and there was some yelling. “In my mind at least, we wanted to get away from that,” he said.

Smith likewise said there were “multiple people” with “multiple cellphones out,” and “it didn’t feel like a welcoming environment”.

Chauvin’s lawyer has argued that the police on the scene were distracted by what they perceived as a growing and increasingly hostile crowd. Video showed somewhere around 15 onlookers not far from where Floyd lay on the pavement.

Bravinder said after he drove the ambulance three blocks and jumped in back to help his partner, a monitor showed that Floyd had flatlined — his heart had stopped. He said they were never able to restore a pulse.

Floyd’s girlfriend Ross began her testimony by telling how the two of them met

Ross said she had gone to the shelter because her sons’ father was staying there. She said she became upset because the father was not coming to the lobby to discuss their son’s birthday. Floyd came over to check on her.

“Floyd has this great Southern voice, raspy. He was like, `Sis, you OK, sis?’” Ross recalled. “I was tired. We’ve been through so much, my sons and I, and (for) this kind person just to come up and say, ‘Can I pray with you?’ … it was so sweet. At the time, I had lost a lot of faith in God.”

Ross described how both she and Floyd struggled with an addiction to painkillers throughout their relationship.

Ross, pictured giving evidence on Thursday, said that one of her “favourite stories to tell” was how she met Floyd.

Ross, pictured giving evidence on Thursday, said that one of her “favourite stories to tell” was how she met Floyd.Credit:AP

The testimony came a day after prosecutors played extensive video footage: bystander and police bodycam video of officers pulling Floyd from his SUV at gunpoint and struggling to put him in a squad car before they put him on the ground. It also showed Floyd being loaded into an ambulance.

Floyd’s struggle with three police officers trying to arrest him, seen on body-camera video, included Floyd’s panicky cries of “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” and “I’m claustrophobic!” as the officers tried to push Floyd into the back of a police SUV.

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At one point, Floyd bucks forward, throwing his upper body out of the car. Officers eventually give up, and Floyd thanks them – and then is taken to the ground, face down and handcuffed. Chauvin’s knee pins his neck, another officer’s knee holds his back and a third officer holds his legs, with the officers talking calmly about whether he might be on drugs.

The officers’ video was part of a mountain of footage and witness testimony on Wednesday showing how Floyd’s alleged attempt to pass a phony $US20 bill at a neighbourhood market escalated into tragedy.

Floyd’s death, along with the harrowing bystander video of him gasping for breath as onlookers yelled at Chauvin to get off him, triggered sometimes violent protests around the world and a reckoning over racism and police brutality across the US.

AP

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