The first day of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin came to a close after Donald Williams, an expert witness and MMA fighter, took the stand to testify on Chauvin’s restrain. Williams was among the bystanders who witnessed George Floyd’s death and is heard in the bystander video demanding for the officer to ease pressure on Floyd.
Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images
Per Star Tribune, Donald Williams explained that he was familiar with the hold that Chauvin put on Floyd, describing it as a “blood choke” that can lead to a loss of consciousness. “‘My stomach hurts, I can’t breathe, I want my mom, please let me up'” Williams recalled Floyd saying. “He said he wanted to get in the car, he said he’s sorry for what he did.”
He described Chauvin as “shimmying” when he would shift his weight onto Floyd’s neck to tighten his grip. “You see Floyd fade away like the fish in the bag,” he said. “He vocalized that he can’t breathe and ‘I’m sorry.’ His eyes rolled back in his head.” He added that it looked like Floyd was trying to fight “through the torture.”
Williams was told by the judge to refrain from adding conclusions or opinions into his testimony and leave it strictly to what he witnessed and his martial arts experience. The judge later ended the day’s proceedings after a “major technical glitch” affected the live stream in other rooms where Floyd’s family members were watching the trial.