Donald Williams: 5 Things To Know About MMA Fighter Testifying In Derek Chauvin Trial

Donald Williams has the public's attention after he testified on the first day of the Derek Chauvin trail on March 29.

Donald Williams
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Image Credit: Shutterstock

Donald Williams‘ name began trending on social media, due in part to his witness testimony on the first day of the Derek Chauvin trial on March 29. Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, is on trial at Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd — an unarmed black man.

Floyd’s death gained nationwide attention and sparked the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement after video footage emerged that showed Chauvin leaning on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes during an arrest. In the footage, Floyd could be heard pleading with Chauvin, saying, “please, please I can’t breathe” while pinned to the ground. Additional footage from bystanders showed Floyd being taken away on a stretcher and into an ambulance, where he later died. — Nearly one year later, Williams is a key witness in the Chauvin trial, who the public has observed as “genuine” in his demeanor after seeing video footage from his testimony. Learn more about him with these five facts:

Why is Donald Williams testifying in the Derek Chauvin Trial?  

Williams witnessed George Floyd’s encounter with police on the day he died, and alleged under oath that Chauvin held Floyd in a “blood choke.” Immediately after the May 25, 2020, incident, Williams called 911 to report what he saw, and while on the witness stand, the 911 audio was played for the court to hear. Chauvin “pretty much just killed a guy that wasn’t resisting arrest. The man stopped breathing. He wasn’t resisting arrest — he was not responsive,” Williams could be heard telling a 911 dispatcher, noting, “They wouldn’t even take his pulse.”

Williams testified, “I did call the police on the police. I believe I witnessed a murder. I felt the need to call the police on the police.”

Who is Donald Williams?

He’s a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, who’s affiliated with Minnesota’s Martial Arts Academy. Williams is believed to be inactive in fighting, as his last fight was on March 23, 2019, in North Star Combat (NSC), according to fight source Tapology. Though, he’s still very much immersed in the fighting world. He appears to be involved in educating youth wrestlers and other fighters, according to social media.

Witness Donald Williams answers questions as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, in the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn on March 30, 2021. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

Williams’ fighting nickname is “The Deathwish.” 

With extensive training in security and MMA, he quickly became lethal in the professional fighting space. Hence, the “The Deathwish” moniker.

He’s a father of two. 

Williams has two young children: a daughter, Kyleigh, and son, Zy. Both kids are following in their dad’s footsteps, according to Donald’s Instagram, which includes a number of posts gushing over his two wrestlers.

Williams is a business owner and entrepreneur.

He’s the owner of a small family owned liquidation store that strives to bring savings to its customers, according to his Instagram bio. He’s also affiliated with the sock brand, Strideline.

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