Minneapolis, George Floyd, settlement

Minneapolis Settles With George Floyd Witness For $150,000

The fallout from the murder of George Floyd alone, has so far, carried a nearly $50 million price tag for the City of Minneapolis

The City of Minneapolis settled with Donald Williams, a 35-year-old mixed martial arts fighter and an eyewitness to the murder of George Floyd, who tried to prevent it. Williams’ $150,000 payment was unanimously approved by the Minneapolis City Council and they declared it merited no discussion. Williams alleges that he still has PTSD as a result of witnessing Floyd’s last moments. 

Williams’ lawsuit, which he filed against the city in 2023, alleges that he was assaulted by the police while attempting to prevent the death of Floyd in 2020. According to the lawsuit, Derek Chauvin, the white police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes, pointed a can of chemical spray at Williams and others who were concerned for Floyd, threatening to use it on them. 

Another officer, former police officer Tou Thao, then stepped towards Williams and put his hand on his chest. Williams alleged that the combined actions of the officers made him afraid for his safety, and he also endured pain, suffering, humiliation, and embarrassment and incurred medical expenses. 

As the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported,d\ the settlement represents the reckoning with the Minneapolis Police Department amid a Department of Justice investigation into the department’s discriminatory policing practices. The fallout from the murder of George Floyd alone has, so far, carried a nearly-$50 million price tag. 

As The Guardian reported, Williams’ testimony during the trial of Derek Chauvin was critical to the prosecution’s case, notably his MMA background and knowledge of wrestling and the effects chokeholds have on the human body. Williams told the outlet in 2021 that what he witnessed left him traumatized. “I’m dealing with stuff, with trauma. We all are. Everyone who watched that. We’re all dealing with it. It’s trauma.”

At the trial, Williams recalled his reasoning for calling in what he witnessed, saying, “I called the police on the police,” he stated. When asked why by lawyers, he responded: “Because I believe I witnessed a murder.”

Williams continued, telling The Guardian after being asked if he feared for his safety since the murder of Floyd, “Am I fearful for my safety? Of course, I’m fearful for my safety. I’m a Black man in America.”

RELATED CONTENT: In New Documentary, Derek Chauvin Proclaims Innocence After Pleading Guilty To George Floyd’s Murder