By Marty Johnson
The second day of the Derek Chauvin trial was dominated for the most part by a handful of eyewitnesses who recanted wrenching details of what they observed on the night of May 25, 2020 in the Powder horn neighborhood on Minneapolis.
Four of the witnesses who testified were kept off camera as they were all minors when George Floyd was killed that day, though two of them are now 18.
Two of the witnesses who testified Tuesday were the bystanders who captured the viral graphic footage of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for roughly nine minutes.
This resulted in the wrenching recordings, in which Floyd can be heard pleading with Chauvin that he couldn’t breathe, ultimately becoming unresponsive while Chauvin continued to kneel on his neck.
“Blood choke” Tuesday’s proceedings began with the continuation of Monday’s last witness, 33-year-old Donald Williams who has a background in both wrestling and mixed martial arts.
Before court adjourned on day one, Williams got through part of his testimony, telling prosecutor Steve Schleicher that Chauvin had Floyd in a “blood choke.”
“Blood choke” is a less formal name for a carotid hold — a chokehold that cuts off blood supply from the brain by placing pressure on either or both sides of a person’s neck where the carotid arteries are located.
In footage, Williams can be heard hurling insults at Chauvin and former officer Tou Thou who was also on the scene.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson during his cross-examination of Williams played a recording of a 911 call that he made following the fatal incident.
“He just pretty much killed this guy that wasn’t resisting arrest,” Williams is heard telling the dispatcher.
Williams told the court he made the call because he believed he had “witnessed a murder.”