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'They're just as responsible': Courteney Ross, George Floyd's girlfriend, reacts to federal trial

Courteney Ross, George Floyd's girlfriend, gave her thoughts on the federal trial of three former Minneapolis police officers.

ST PAUL, Minnesota — It's been 20 months since George Floyd was murdered. 

"It's a struggle. Every day is a struggle. It really is. I still miss Floyd as much as I did the day that I lost him on this Earth," said Courteney Ross, Floyd's girlfriend of three years. 

Ross met Floyd when visiting a loved one at the Salvation Army; Floyd was working security for the organization at the time. 

RELATED: 'Everybody loved Floyd': Remembering George Floyd

Since Floyd's murder, Ross has been active in seeking justice for him. She's been attending the federal trial of the three former Minneapolis police officers.

"I've always felt like this great need to protect him and protect his name. He's a wonderful man. I love him with all my heart and I just refuse to let anybody push a narrative that isn't true," Ross said. "I want them to see me. I want them to see that this has still affected my life. 20 months now I've been going through this."

Credit: Courteney Ross
Courteney Ross said she and George Floyd were together for three years.

Last week, a jury was seated consisting of 12 jurors and six alternates from across the state of Minnesota. 

"To be honest, it was slightly confusing. I'm wondering why the jury pool seems so limited. It is a very white jury and middle class, I would assume. So it bothers me that at this day and age we don't have someone representing the victim in the jury. But I'm just going to have to go on and trust that they lead with their hearts," Ross said. 

RELATED: Who is on the jury for the federal trial of three former Minneapolis police officers?

J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are charged with depriving Floyd of his constitutional rights while acting under government authority. 

For opening statements, Ross said she thought the prosecution did "an amazing job." 

When it came to the defense, she said, "Right now it's frustrating because they're not taking any accountability. I know it's their job to present things in a way that favor the defendants but right now it just seems like a blame game." 

RELATED: After opening statements, first witness called in federal trial of 3 ex-MPD officers

Dan Scott, who spent most of his career as either a federal prosecutor or a federal public defender, said this will be a much tougher case for the prosecution to prove compared to Derek Chauvin's state trial. 

"I thought about it for a long time and I was worrisome about the outcome. Then I went back and for the first time I visited the video," Ross said. 

Last Wednesday, Ross for the first time watched the entire video of Floyd's final moments. 

"When I saw them ignoring his pleas, his screams of agony for help, and I watched it finally in its entirety, there's no doubt in my mind that they denied him of his civil rights," Ross said. "He was begging for breath; he was begging for help. When people do that, what you're supposed to do is help them."

The indictment alleges the three officers willfully failed to aid Floyd. Kueng and Thao are also accused of willfully failing to intervene when Floyd could not breathe. 

"I couldn't see him die and I didn't want to see him die but I wanted to see exactly what those officers did. I didn't want to speak to something that I hadn't witnessed myself. Once I saw it, I realized how cruel they were to him. They completely denied him any civil rights. Completely," Ross said. 

Ross said she plans to attend court every day and encouraged the public to stay involved. 

RELATED: Trial of former Minneapolis officers involved in George Floyd's death moved to June

After the federal trial, the three former police officers still face state charges in June. 

"You think that maybe you're starting to heal a little bit and then another trial comes and you're just engulfed in it once again," Ross said. "I pray for the day where we don't have to go through this but I'm going to stand by all the families that have to anyways. So I'll be here not just for Floyd but for them too." 

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