George Floyd: Witness felt powerless as he watched Floyd die under Derek Chauvin's knee

ITV News US Correspondent Emma Murphy spoke to George Floyd's brother and an eye witness who tried to intervene in Mr Floyd's arrest

An eye witness who watched George Floyd die under former police officer Derek Chauvin's knee spoke about his feeling of powerlessness as he tried to intervene.

Donald Williams was filmed frantically telling police at the scene of the murder: "He's not responsive right now, bro. Well, look at him, he's not responsive right now."

Mr Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on May 25 last year in Minneapolis after Chauvin, a 45-year-old white police officer, knelt on his neck for around nine-and-a-half minutes.

The now-fired police officer was found guilty of murder and manslaughter on Tuesday, after less than a day of deliberations by the jury.

Videos of the arrest drew outrage across the US and triggered worldwide protests and violence last summer.

Mr Williams spoke about the trauma of seeing another black man die at the hands of a police officer

Mr Williams, who was a bystander seen in one of the videos, told ITV News about his feeling of helplessness: "At the time, I just felt like I wasn't even heard. I felt like he (Chauvin) was unhuman at the moment, or he is unhuman. And just that he had no remorse for another human being's plea, for George's life and safety."

He spoke about the trauma of seeing another black man die at the hands of a police officer: "You see another black man, you see a white man taking his life and you ask yourself, and you think about it: that could be me in different scenarios.

"And as I learn more about George Floyd's life, we both have been security guards for multiple years, we both have a daughter that's one year apart. We're both black men. It's traumatising."

He said: "It's painful, you know. Low key, it affects people around me. It affects me."

Eye witness Donald Williams teared up as he gave evidence in court on the George Floyd murder case Credit: Court TV

But Mr Williams described the verdict as being a "a lot of weight off my shoulders".

He said: "I'm glad to see justice and the fight is not over.

"I look forward to continue to be a part of getting justice for black America, black men, black women, black children and black youth and continue to see that the world come together as one."

Giving evidence in court in March, Mr Williams described seeing Mr Floyd struggle for air and “slowly fade a fish in a bag”.

He said he called the police on the police "because I believed I witnessed a murder".

In his 911 call, which was played out in court, Mr Williams can be heard saying that Mr Floyd, who was not resisting and was handcuffed, "stopped breathing" while the police officer had his knee on his neck.

Darnella Frazier, the teenager who shot the viral video of George Floyd under Chauvin's knee, also welcomed the guilty verdict.

"I just cried so hard," she wrote on Facebook.


The 18-year-old's footage of Mr Floyd pleading for his life triggered protests around the world and a reckoning over racism and police brutality in the US.

Ms Frazier, now 18, had testified during the trial. She told the court that she began recording because “it wasn't right, he was suffering.”

The verdict on Tuesday set off celebrations across the city of Minneapolis, US, as crowds flooded the streets with banners. Some people were seen breaking down in tears as they reacted to the news.

Alongside witnesses in the trial, scores of high-profile figures have hailed the verdict.

Broadcaster Oprah Winfrey cried tears of joy, saying she was "grateful" to Ms Frazier.

In a statement on her website, Beyoncé celebrated a "good day".

"Today is a good day," she wrote.

"I encourage all of us to continue to pray for George Floyd's family and for all the families who seek justice for their loved ones who are victims of too many years of inequalities.

Meanwhile, US poet laureate Amanda Gorman tweeted that the verdict was not a "victory".

The 22-year-old, who gained global attention after performing at Joe Biden's inauguration, wrote: "A reminder that victory would be George Floyd being alive. Every day Black Americans worry if they will be next is another day without justice."

On this side of the Atlantic, Lewis Hamilton shared his reaction, tweeting that the outcome was "monumental.

"JUSTICE for George! The emotions I feel right now are hard to describe. Derek Chauvin has been found guilty," he wrote.