The second day of witness testimony in former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial follows an emotional first day that included blunt witness testimony and video footage from George Floyd’s arrest last year, laying the groundwork for court proceedings that will centre on precisely what happened that day.
Donald Williams, 33, a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter and former wrestler took the stand Monday afternoon and gave a detailed account of the physical techniques Chauvin used on Floyd while pinning him to the ground and the dangers of such actions, drawing from his experience and training in mixed martial arts and professional wrestling.
Donald Williams, is the witness who can be heard on the video shouting at Chauvin to get off of Floyd, resumes his testimony on Tuesday.
Williams described to the jury what unfolded before his eyes while he pleaded with Chauvin and officer Thao to check Floyd’s pulse and intervene while Floyd was still alive.
Williams offered the unparalleled combination of first-personal and professional perspectives that gave him an extra level of credibility despite his obvious scorn and disdain for Chauvin, both of which came across clearly to TV viewers. It
At one point, Williams said he yelled at Chauvin that what he was doing to Floyd was a “blood choke,” a tactic that hinders an opponent’s air circulation from the head to the rest of the body. A maneuver to disable an opponent by stopping air circulation from the head to the rest of the body.
“That was the only time he looked up and we looked at each other in the eyes,” Williams said.
As prosecutors played the video of the incident, Williams pointed at the techniques Chauvin used to tighten the choke and cut the flow of air even more, that eventually led Floyd to slowly “fade away,” he said.
“The more that his knee was on his neck … the more you see Floyd fade away, slowly fade away like a fish in the bag, and you see his eyes slowly go pale and roll to the back,” Williams said Monday, recalling how Floyd gasped for air and begged for his life.
“I believe I witnessed a murder,”
“He just pretty much killed this guy that wasn’t resisting arrest,”
“The knee was diagonal across the throat,”
“The officer on top was shimmying to actually get the final choke in while he was on top, the kill choke.”