Witnesses take the stand in trial of Derek Chauvin trial, cop accused of killing George Floyd

The trial of Derek Chauvin, 45, the white police officer facing charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for the death of George Floyd on May 25 of 2020, began on Monday. After the prosecution’s opening statements, three witnesses took the stand.

One witness, Donald Williams, a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter who was at the scene, said that Chauvin performed a “blood choke” on Floyd, which is a wrestling move to knock an opponent unconscious. Williams also accused Chauvin of “enjoying” restraining Floyd. 

Williams recounted his observations from the event, describing how Floyd’s voice grew thicker and his breathing became more labored after a few minutes of Chauvin restraining Floyd by putting his knee on Floyd’s neck. “From there on, he was lifeless,” Williams said. “He didn’t move, he didn’t speak, he didn’t have no life in him no more on his body movements.”

Chauvin’s defense lawyers are expected to counter the notorious nine minute video of the arrest and the witnesses’ testimonies as insufficient in supporting Chauvin’s right to use force to take down Floyd, who was resisting arrest at the time Chauvin entered the scene, and that his death was caused by a drug overdose, not by Chauvin’s restraint.

Floyd’s medical examiner, Dr. Andrew Baker, might not take the stand during this case, but his autopsy report that ruled Floyd’s death as a homicide caused by the police, will be a central focus of the prosecution’s argument.

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