Donald Williams, a key witness in the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, is suing the city. The Associated Press reports that, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court, Williams says he endured emotional anguish and was assaulted while witnessing Floyd’s murder.
According to the lawsuit, former officer Derek Chauvin threatened onlookers with a can of mace while kneeling on Floyd’s neck on May 25, 2020. The lawsuit also claims that Chauvin and another ex-officer, Tou Thao, mocked Floyd, Williams, and other witnesses who voiced concern and that Thao placed his hand on Williams’ chest. Williams perceived those behaviors as threats and was concerned for his safety and the safety of other witnesses.
According to the complaint, Williams accuses the officers of intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Williams is seeking more than $50,000 for each count.
Due to the officers’ actions, Williams says he has endured “emotional distress, pain, suffering, humiliation, embarrassment, and medical expenses,” according to the lawsuit.
Chauvin was convicted of state murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death and sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison. He also pled guilty to a different federal charge of violating Floyd’s civil rights and was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
Chauvin is currently serving both sentences simultaneously in a federal prison in Arizona. Thao was convicted of manslaughter and is awaiting sentencing. Thao was also convicted of violating Floyd’s civil rights and sentenced to 3 1/2 years in federal prison.