George Floyd’s girlfriend gave emotional testimony when the murder trial of former US police officer Derek Chauvin entered the fourth day.
Courteney Ross told the court about their first kiss and the fight against opioid addiction.
Ross was the first person to personally know what Floyd had testified.
Chauvin, a white police officer, was filmed last May on his knees on African-American Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes.
It has sparked global protests over police and racism.
Chauvin, 45, has denied charges of murder and manslaughter.
Ms. Ross told the court that she met Mr. Floyd in the lobby of the Salvation Army’s homeless shelter in 2017, where he worked as a security guard and was waiting to see his son’s father. She said Mr Floyd asked if he would pray with him.
“It was so sweet that I had lost a lot of faith in God at that time,” she said, adding that they kissed that night.
She said their first meeting was “one of my favorite stories.”
Ms. Ross said they both suffer from chronic pain and are addicted to opioids.
“In my opinion, addiction is a lifelong struggle,” she said. “It’s not something that goes back and forth, it’s something I treat forever.”
She didn’t specifically mention whether Floyd was using opioids on the day he died.
What else has happened in the previous trials?
In the opening statement, Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told the jury that Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck and detained him with “excessive and irrational force” and “betrayed the badge.” “.
Defendant lawyers have indicated that 46-year-old Floyd claimed to have died from an overdose and poor health, and the force used was reasonable.
Body camera footage played in court on Wednesday showed Mr Floyd complaining to police during his arrest that “I’m not a bad guy.”
In a separate footage from Chauvin’s body camera, he faces bystanders about his arrest after Floyd was taken away by an ambulance.
“We had to control this guy because he’s a pretty guy,” Chauvin told Charles McMillian when he returned to the police car. “He’s probably doing something.”
On the first day of the trial, several witnesses ran.
Dhanera, a teenager whose movie of Floyd’s death caused worldwide protests, said he “continues to apologize” for “doing nothing more.”
A clerk, Christopher Martin, told the court that he had easily interacted with Mr Floyd as a customer within Cup Foods shortly before his arrest.
Mr Floyd “looked expensive” because he had a hard time answering simple questions, but he was clear enough to have a conversation. He described Mr. Floyd as “friendly and friendly.”
Martin told the jury that he had sold cigarette packets to Floyd and received counterfeit banknotes as payment. Martin said he knew the bill was fake because of its color and texture, but Floyd added that he “did not know it was a fake note.”
He said he had considered deducting it from his wages at the store instead of confronting Mr. Floyd, but then decided to talk to his manager. Another employee called the police.
Martin, who witnessed the arrest, said he felt “distrust and guilt” because “if I didn’t submit the bill, this could have been avoided.”
Why is this case so important?
Video footage of Derek Chauvin, who knelt on George Floyd’s neck last May, was seen around the world.
It caused public demonstrations against racism and police atrocities.
But despite global protests, this is not an open and shut case. In the United States, police are rarely convicted of dying on duty.
The verdict in this case is widely seen as an indication of how the US legal system treats deaths that occur during police detention.