George Floyd’s partner has explained how they first met and how they both suffered with drug addiction to a jury with tears in his eyes.
Courteney Ross, 45, was the first person who knew Mr Floyd personally to testify in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the white former Minneapolis police officer seen in video footage lying on Floyd’s neck for around nine minutes, a 46-year-old handcuffed black man.
Global demonstrations against police violence erupted as a result of the video.
“It’s a classic story of how many people get addicted to opioids,” Ms Ross, who wore a heart-shaped brooch on her jacket, told the jury.
“We both suffered from chronic pain: mine was in my neck, his was in his back.”
Mr Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder and manslaughter.
The most serious charge he faces carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in jail.
In a central dispute of the trial, his lawyers have argued that Mr Floyd’s death, ruled a homicide at the hands of police, was really an overdose caused by the fentanyl found in his blood at autopsy.
Prosecutors from the Minnesota Attorney-General’s office told the jury they would offer evidence to contradict this, including Ms Ross’s testimony about his drug tolerance, and that Mr Floyd’s drug use is irrelevant to the charges against Mr Chauvin.
Medical experts have said that while the level of fentanyl in his system could be fatal to some, people who use the drug regularly can develop a tolerance to it.-ABC World News