Who is Donald Williams? Mixed martial artist testifies Derek Chauvin held George Floyd in a ‘blood choke’

Williams also explained that Floyd 'apologized' for what he had done when Chauvin knelt on his neck, but the former police officer remained in the same position


                            Who is Donald Williams? Mixed martial artist testifies Derek Chauvin held George Floyd in a ‘blood choke’
Donald Williams, a mixed martial artist testified against Derek Chauvin (Instagram/dwill_ii )

Day one of the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been wrapped up with testimonies of multiple witnesses. One of them to take the stand to lay out the details from the day of George Floyd's death was a professional mixed martial artist Donald Williams, who alleged that Chauvin held Floyd in a "blood choke". 

The first day of Chauvin's trial concluded on Monday, March 29. The video from the day of Floyd's death reportedly shows Williams telling the cops, more than once to check Floyd's pulse and screaming at them for continuing to kneel on Floyd when he was calling out for help in "distress". He was the final witness called in the trial on March 29 and will continue to testify on Tuesday, March 30. 

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Who is Donald Williams?

Williams is a mixed martial artist and trainer. The 33-year-old's nickname is 'The Deathwish'. He finished his training in MMA at Minnesota Martial Arts Academy. He said he has been training in the gym since 2009 and has worked with many cops during the course of his career. 

During the courtroom testimony, Williams said that he was walking around the corner near the Cup Foods store when he was drawn to the commotion. By the time he arrived, he saw Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck while the Black man was "speaking in a distressed way". He further added that Floyd was in pain as he told Chavun, his "head hurt" and "stomach hurt" while he called out for his mother. 

 



 

 

Williams said, “His breathing was getting tremendously heavy. I watched the position 1) of where the position of the knee was on the neck, 2) what body movements was going on while the knee was on the neck and 3) what was the condition of George Floyd as he was going through this torture."

"I felt the officer on top was shimmying to actually get the final choke in while he was on top. Sometimes you could get in a blood choke and not know you’re in a blood choke until you’re unconscious," he testified. Williams also said that he was "pissed off" at another officer Tou Thao, who blamed drugs for the way Floyd reacted to the restraint. The cop allegedly said, "This is what drugs do to you.”

Meanwhile, Williams also explained that Floyd "apologized" for what he had done when Chauvin knelt on his neck, but the former police officer remained in the same position. The MMA fighter claims he has trained police officers before and they are taught the different kinds of chokes for different types of defenses. "Blood Choke" is known to cut the circulation of blood to different organs and the other two being Limb Choke and Air Choke. 

Floral tributes lay next to a mural of George Floyd, by street artist Akse, in Manchester's northern quarter on June 03, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Getty Images)

People praise the 'credible witness' 

A significant number of people who witnessed Williams's testimony have praised him for speaking out for Floyd, the victim of police brutality. One tweeted, "If you missed Donald Williams testimony in Derick Chauvin’s trial, he is the slam dunk. The 911 Dispatcher also was a very credible witness. Only day 1 and difficult to watch, but necessary. #BlackLivesMatter" Another added, "Donald Williams testimony is Riveting.. goodness... that fish filet Story, the fish’s eyes rolling back.. gasping for air... wow.. he is a great witness pero (but) he will probably need counseling after this! #georgefloydtrial" Adding to the above tweets one said, "Witness Donald Williams did a great job testifying in the trial today."