A witness to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has filed a lawsuit against the city due to the alleged emotional damage caused by the disturbing incident.
Donald Williams, a mixed martial artist, took the stand during Chauvin’s 2021 trial and told the court he was scared when watching Floyd die.
“I believe I witnessed a murder,” Williams testified.
In his $50,000 lawsuit filed against the city of Minneapolis on Tuesday, Willimas described Chavin’s actions when arresting Floyd and kneeling against his neck until he died as “extreme and outrageous.”
Williams was also among the many bystanders who were threatened by Chauvin and fellow ex-officer Tou Thao with a can of mace when they yelled at the cops to stop.
“As a direct and proximate result of this conduct, Plaintiff has endured and/or will endure medical expenses, emotional distress, pain, suffering, humiliation, embarrassment, and other items of compensatory damages in an amount to be determined by jury,” the lawsuit states.
Williams alleges one count of assault, one count of intentional infliction of emotional distress and one count of negligent infliction of emotional distress caused by the officers.
A spokesperson for the city declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Williams made headlines in 2021 during his dramatic testimony in Chauvin’s murder trial, where he condemned the officer’s actions.
“I was totally scared for my safety and people around me,” Williams said, wiping away tears after the court played his 911 call.
“Officer 987 killed a citizen in front of a Chicago store,” Williams, 33, said during the chilling May 25 call, referring to Chauvin’s badge number. “He just pretty much just killed this guy that wasn’t resisting arrest. He had his knee on the dude’s neck the whole time, Officer 987.”
Chavin was ultimately convicted of state murder and manslaughter charges and sentenced to 22-and-a-half years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to a separate federal charge for violating Floyd’s civil rights and was sentenced to 21 years.
Thao is also serving a federal prison sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights. He will be sentenced in August after a jury found him guilty of aiding and abetting Floyd’s murder.
Williams, notably, faces his own trouble with the law. Last week, he was charged with assault and disorderly conduct brawling in Olmsted County.
Last September, Williams was charged in Ramsey County with choking and striking his girlfriend outside the Minnesota State Fair and threatening to kill responding police officers.
Williams has claimed he was suffering PTSD from witnessing Floyd’s murder and testifying in court.