Witness on why he called 911 after seeing George Floyd's death: 'I believe I witnessed a murder'

Delivering testimony in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin on Tuesday, Donald Williams said he called 911 after watching the fatal encounter between Floyd and Chauvin because "I believe I witnessed a murder." Williams appeared emotional on the stand as his 911 call was played for the court.

Video transcript

- At some point, did you make a 911 call?

DONALD WILLIAMS: That is correct. I did call the police on the police.

- All right. And why did you do that?

DONALD WILLIAMS: Because I believe I witnessed a murder.

- And so you felt a need to call the police.

DONALD WILLIAMS: Yeah, I felt the need to call the police on the police.

- Now, there were police there, right?

DONALD WILLIAMS: There-- well, there were police there.

- OK, why didn't you just talk to them about it?

DONALD WILLIAMS: I believe that they didn't-- I just-- we just didn't have no connection. You know, I spoke to them, but not on a connection of a human being relationship.

- Did you, well, believe that they were involved?

DONALD WILLIAMS: Yes, totally.

- And so when you made that 911 call, about how long after the ambulance left was that?

DONALD WILLIAMS: Time [? recollection, ?] I don't know.

- Was it a matter of minutes?

DONALD WILLIAMS: Minutes, seconds. Not too long after they retreated to the other side of the street I proceeded to call the police.

- And prior to today, have you had an opportunity to listen to a recording of that 911 call?

DONALD WILLIAMS: Can you please repeat that question?

- Prior to coming to court today, did we play for you a copy of that 911 call, a recording of it?

DONALD WILLIAMS: I would not say yes or no. I cannot remember at this moment.

- If you heard that today, would you be able to recognize it as the 911 call that you made?

DONALD WILLIAMS: That is correct.

- We have now marked that as Exhibit 20, and your honor, we would ask that it be-- well, we are offering it now as Exhibit 20.

- 20 is received.

- All right, so if we can at this point then play Exhibit 20?

- [INAUDIBLE] May 25, 2020.

- 911, what's the address of the emergency?

DONALD WILLIANS (ON PHONE): Officer 987 killing a [INAUDIBLE] in front of a Chicago store. He just pretty much just killed this guy that wasn't resisting arrest. He had his knee on this dude's neck the whole time, Officer 987.

The man went limp, stopped breathing. He wasn't resisting arrest or nothing. He was already in handcuffs. They pretty much just killed the dude.

I don't even know if he's dead for sure, but he was not responsive when the ambulance came and got him. And the officer that was just out here left. The one that actually just murdered [INAUDIBLE] in front of everybody on 36th-- 38th and Chicago.

- OK, would you like to speak with a sergeant?

DONALD WILLIANS (ON PHONE): Yeah, like that was bogus what they just did to this man. He was unresponsive. He wasn't resisting arrest or any of it.

- OK, let me get you over to the desk so you can request to speak with a sergeant, OK?

DONALD WILLIANS (ON PHONE): Yeah, and I'm standing here talking with another off duty firefighter, like he's standing here watching in front of us, as well. And she told him to check the man's pulse, but they didn't even check the-- the pulse

- OK, one second.

- [INAUDIBLE] city of Minneapolis. To reach someone in our property crimes division--

DONALD WILLIANS (ON PHONE): Y'all murderers, bro. Y'all are murderers. [INAUDIBLE] you're gonna kill yourself. I already know it. Two more years. You're gonna shoot yourself. Murderers, bro. Y'all murderers, bro.

- Minneapolis Third Precinct.

- Hey, it's dispatch. [INAUDIBLE]. Hold on.

DONALD WILLIANS (ON PHONE): I want to speak to a supervisor. Yeah, go ahead.

- Yeah, he wants to speak with a supervisor relating to [? 320 ?] [INAUDIBLE].

DONALD WILLIANS (ON PHONE): They killed that man in front of the store [INAUDIBLE].

- [INAUDIBLE] 3346 May 25, 2020.

- Is that an accurate recording of the call you made?

DONALD WILLIAMS: That is correct.

- And at the beginning, you referred to Officer 987. Where did you get that number from?

DONALD WILLIAMS: Honestly, it was just visually popped in my head. Like, I looked at his badge, and that's what I read on his badge.

- And so whose badge-- which officer were you referring to?

DONALD WILLIAMS: The officer sitting over there.

- And was that also the officer that had his knee on George Floyd's neck?

DONALD WILLIAMS: That is correct.

- And for the record, in your previous answer, you were pointing to the defendant, Mr. Chauvin?

DONALD WILLIAMS: That's correct.

- And, and so the purpose in making-- what was the purpose in making that 911 call at that time?

DONALD WILLIAMS: I just felt like that was the right thing to do. I didn't know what else to do. I didn't-- I didn't know what to do.

- And--

DONALD WILLIAMS: But call.

- I'm sorry, I cut you off.

DONALD WILLIAMS: But call.

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