George Floyd’s girlfriend described how he struggled with an opioid addiction and grief after the death of his mother, part of continued testimony on Thursday in the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin.
“Floyd and I both suffered with an opioid addiction,” Courteney Ross said. “We both suffered from chronic pain. Mine was in my neck and his was in his back. We both had prescriptions. After prescriptions that were filled, we got addicted and tried really hard to break that addiction many times.”
She said Mr Floyd’s injuries came from sports, and stretched from his neck down through his shoulder blade and lower black.
Mr Chauvin is charged with two counts of murder, after he was filmed last May kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest.
Ms Ross also added that Mr Floyd was once hospitalised for a drug overdose, and that at times she believes Mr Floyd bought drugs from Morries Hall, an acquaintance who was in the car with him the day of his fatal arrest. The drug purchases continued up until approximately a week before his death, Ms Ross testified, and included pills she described as a “stimulant”.
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On Wednesday, Mr Hall told the court he would refuse to testify if called upon in the trial, claiming the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. (Mr Hall’s attorney declined a request for comment fromThe Independent.)
The defence has argued that drugs in Mr Floyd’s system at the time of his arrest, rather than the knee on his neck, were responsible for his death.
Ms Ross teared up as she shared details of her relationship with Mr Floyd. The two met at a homeless shelter in 2017 where Mr Floyd was working as a security guard and Ms Ross was going to visit the father of her children.
He noticed her becoming emotional while waiting in the lobby and offered to pray with her, and the two struck up a conversation, then eventually a relationship.
Mr Floyd’s mother Larcenia died in 2018, and it took a heavy toll on him.
“Floyd is what I would call a momma’s boy,” Ms Ross testified. “He seemed kind of like a shell of himself, like he was broken. He seemed so sad. He didn’t have the same kind of bounce that he had. He was devastated. He loved his mom so much, and I knew that.”
During the testimony on Thursday, it was also revealed that Mr Floyd saved Ms Ross under the name “Mama” in his phone.
Mr Floyd called out for someone named “Mama” numerous times as Mr Chauvin was kneeling on top of him, and most presumed that referred to his mother.
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