The Derek Chauvin trial: key witnesses

Derek Chauvin being handcuffed and taken out of the court room.

Derek Chauvin being handcuffed and taken out of the court room.

Emma Guenther, Staff Writer

After two weeks of testimonies, Derek Chauvin was finally found guilty for the death of George Floyd. The murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin was horrific, and Chauvin’s disgusting use of excessive force was glaringly apparent in the testimonies of each of the prosecution’s witnesses. Here are a few of the most pivotal ones:

One of the witnesses, Donald Williams, had particularly useful insight on what exactly Chauvin did to Floyd. Williams is an MMA fighter and recognized the move Chauvin performed on Floyd as a blood choke and told him to stop. Williams identified this as a killing move, saying that he looked Chauvin directly in the eyes and told him this, but was ignored. He was also the second person to call the authorities on Chauvin.

We met Darnella Frazier next, who recorded the viral video of Floyd’s murder. When asked if she saw Chauvin lessen his force on Floyd, she said that if anything he increased it. Darnella stated that the officers on scene deliberately ignored medical advice that was being given by onlookers. Darnella’s nine-year-old cousin who was with her added that when EMS arrived Chauvin still had his knee pressed into Floyd’s neck and had to be asked twice to remove it.

Genevieve Hansen testified next. She was an EMT on scene who attempted repeatedly to provide medical attention to Floyd and the officers prevented her from doing so. She was the third person to call the police on the police.

Derek Smith, one of the EMTs who arrived on the scene, was another important witness. He testified that Floyd’s pupils were large, which is consistent with being strangled, whereas if he had died from an overdose his pupils would’ve been tiny. Smith adds that Floyd was dead long before they arrived at the hospital.

Richard Zimmerman, homicide chief detective and lieutenant, is introduced next. He stated that Chauvin clearly used excessive force and that there was no need for him to hold Floyd down for that long, and that Chauvin should have gotten Floyd out of the prone position immediately. He also stated that officers are trained to stay away from the neck.

Finally, another very important witness was Dr. Martin Tovin. He stated that the four major factors of Floyd’s death were the prone position, the manipulation of the handcuffs, the knee on the back, and the knee on the neck. He explained that Floyd died from a low level of oxygen caused by asphyxia, which was caused by Chauvin. Dr. Tovin also testified that any healthy person would have died in the conditions that Floyd was subject to by Chauvin and that there was no other factor in Floyd’s death than Chauvin.

With these testimonies, it is glaringly apparent that the jury made the right decision. The trial has now come to a close, and it is satisfying that Chauvin will finally be facing time in prison for this crime.