Jury shown images of George Floyd being treated in back of ambulance as he was flatlining

3 weeks ago

Images of George Floyd being treated in the back of an ambulance, after a police officer knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes, have been shown to a jury.

The distressing pictures were viewed in court during the trial of Derek Chauvin who is accused of murdering the unarmed black man in Minneapolis last year.

Mr Floyd, 46, can be seen lying unconscious in the back of the ambulance as he was flatlining.

The pictures were shown in court before David Pleoger, a former sergeant who was Chauvin’s supervisor, said the restraint of Mr Floyd should have stopped when he was handcuffed and no longer resistant.

Prosecutor Steve Schleicher asked: “Based on your review of the body-worn camera footage, do you have an opinion as to when the restraint of Mr Floyd should have ended?”

Mr Pleoger replied: “When Mr Floyd was not offering up any resistance.”

The court had earlier heard from paramedic Seth Bravinder, who was one of the first responders on the scene on 25 May 2020.

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George Floyd treated by paramedic. Image from court
Image: George Floyd was unresponsive in the back of the ambulance. Image from court

He told the court how when he first arrived he saw Mr Floyd lying on the ground with several police officers on top of him.

Mr Floyd had been arrested after allegedly using a fake $ 20 note to buy cigarettes.

Mr Bravinder said it wasn’t clear at first if there was a struggle but he later realised the man was “unresponsive”.

The paramedic’s colleague soon established Mr Floyd was likely in cardiac arrest and he was moved on to a stretcher.

Mr Bravinder said he had to cradle Mr Floyd’s head to stop it hitting the ground because it was “limp”.

Mr Floyd was then moved into the ambulance and a police officer helped with chest compressions but he had “flatlined”, the jury was told.

Prosecutor Erin Eldridge asked whether a delay in getting medical help for Mr Floyd may have lessened his chance of surviving.

Mr Bravinder said it is “important” to start resuscitation efforts as soon as a patient’s pulse stops, and that a delay in giving treatment is “not good for the outcome”.

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Brother: George Floyd was ‘one of a kind’

Derek Smith, a paramedic who was another of the first responders, said he thought Mr Floyd was dead when he arrived at the scene.

Mr Smith saw three officers on top of Mr Floyd.

The paramedic told the court: “He wasn’t moving, I didn’t see any chest rise or fall.”

Mr Smith added that he then checked for a pulse but did not find one.

The paramedic continued: “In lay terms, I thought he was dead.”

Mr Smith also said he had to tell an officer to “move out of the way” while he was trying to put Mr Floyd on to a stretcher.

Derek Chauvin
Image: Derek Chauvin is accused of murdering George Floyd

The paramedic added he had to remove Mr Floyd’s handcuffs to begin treating him, and that he noticed superficial injuries to his shoulder and face.

The court was also shown bodycam footage of Mr Floyd appearing unresponsive before being moved on to a stretcher.

The video showed Mr Floyd face-down on the ground with police officers still holding him down.

Body-worn camera footage also showed Chauvin and fellow officer Tou Thao at the Hennepin County Medical Center as Mr Floyd received treatment.

Body-worn camera footage shows Derek Chauvin, left, at the medical centre where Mr Floyd was receiving treatment
Image: Bodycam footage shows Derek Chauvin (L) at the medical centre where Mr Floyd was receiving treatment

The images were shown in court after Mr Floyd’s girlfriend Courteney Ross tearfully told the story of how they first met at a Salvation Army shelter in 2017.

The 45-year-old added that Mr Floyd was a security guard with “this great Southern voice, raspy”.

She also recounted how they both struggled with opioid addiction.

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George Floyd’s girlfriend recalls his March 2020 overdose

Ms Ross said: “Both Floyd and I, our story, it’s a classic story of how many people get addicted to opioids. We both suffered from chronic pain. Mine was in my neck and his was in his back.

“We both had prescriptions. But after prescriptions that were filled and we got addicted and tried really hard to break that addiction many times.”

While being cross-examined by the defence, Ms Ross was asked about when Mr Floyd was taken to hospital after suffering an overdose in March 2020.

The defence has argued Chauvin did what he was trained to do when he knelt on Mr Floyd’s neck and that the man’s death was caused by drugs, his underlying health conditions and his own adrenaline.

Fentanyl and methamphetamine was found in his body, according to a post-mortem.

Prosecutors put Ms Ross on the stand as part of an effort to humanise Mr Floyd in front of the jury and portray him as more than a crime statistic.

Former police officer Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges.

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