Defense attorney Eric Nelson in the Derek Chauvin trial.
Chauvin’s attorney gets prosecution witnesses to admit it is not always possible to know if someone is unconscious during a “blood choke” and will fight again once revived. Also, another prosecution witness admits officers checked Floyd’s pulse several times.
You will not read or hear this in the mainstream media – even the putative conservative media. They all seem determined to condemn Derek Chauvin. But defense attorney Eric Nelson had an opportunity to question the prosecution’s witnesses. He discredited them.
First, he questioned Donald Williams II, the professional mixed martial artist (MMA), who was at the scene when Derek Chauvin was trying to restrain George Floyd. Nelson asked Williams about his martial arts training. Williams said he practiced various martial arts such as Muay Thai, Wrestling, and Jiu-Jitsu. He added that he went from wrestling in college to being a Mixed Martial Artist about ten years ago. Williams acknowledged that he learned submission chokes. He has used them in training sessions and in bouts. He also acknowledged that an MMA contest employs all of the various methods of fighting: striking, grappling, and includes choking and other submissions. The point is to “knock the person out, render him unconscious” stated Nelson and asked Williams if this is true. Williams confirmed this is true.
Nelson then mentioned Williams’ professional MMA record. It is interesting he did. Because this is a fact mentioned in this Houston Courant column on March 30. This column noted that two-thirds of Williams’ losses were by submission choke. So Williams has been on the receiving end of being rendered unconscious or surrendering several times as a pro after being choked.
Then Nelson asked Williams to confirm, which he did, that in MMA contests there are weight classes. A 250 lb fighter is not matched with a 150 lb fighter, for example. Williams also acknowledged referees are present in matches.
Williams also confirmed that when one fighter has another fighter in a chokehold the referee ensures that the fighter being choked is still conscious. This is because it is not always possible for one fighter to know when another fighter is unconscious during the application of a choke.
Williams also testified that even after a fighter has been rendered unconscious by a choke, said fighter often will continue or want to continue to fight again after regaining consciousness.
Williams gave uncertain or guarded responses about the difference between how an air choke works and a blood choke works. He also testified, because of his experience as a security guard, that there is a lot of anxiety and stress involved when working in front of a hostile crowd.
Then Nelson established that Williams did not know what occurred prior to his arrival at the scene. For example, he was unaware that an ambulance had been called for Floyd. He was also unaware that police had been dealing with Floyd for fifteen minutes prior to his arrival.
Donald Williams was reacting out of ignorance.
Williams also testified he did not hear any conversations among the three officers with Floyd. He grew angrier as he watched the scene unfolding in front of him. “I really wanted to beat the shit out of the police officers,” Nelson quoted Williams as saying. Williams called the police “bums” and more vulgar comments. Williams kept haranguing the police after Floyd was taken away by ambulance.
Donald Williams was reacting out of anger.
Simply put, without knowing everything that occurred before, Williams passed judgment on the actions the police took without knowing why they did or what they did. He just made prejudicial presumptions that were hostile to the police.
Donald Williams acted out of ignorance and hostility towards the police.
Nelson also cross-examined an unidentified female teenage witness. He asked the young girl if she ever said she observed the officers checking Floyd’s pulse. She said, “I even saw them check his pulse multiple times before the ambulance got there.” Initially, she denied saying this. But after Nelson showed her the transcript of her interview with law enforcement immediately following the incident she admitted it. She also said she was angry.
The prosecution witnesses were both angry and hostile to the police. Their testimony was at times guarded, evasive, or incorrect, or all three.
- Derek Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson established that if Derek Chauvin used a chokehold he would not necessarily know when the person being choked is unconscious.
- He also established that those who are rendered unconscious by chokeholds can revive and want to continue fighting.
- He also established that contrary to media reports officers did check Floyd several times for his pulse.
Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson made powerful points and compelling arguments. He blunted – if not discredited – two of the prosecution’s leading witnesses. Even to the extent of extracting testimony that confirmed Chauvin’s innocence.
But you will not hear this on MSNBC, CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, or NPR. You will not read this in the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Boston Globe, Washington Examiner, OANN, or Newsmax.
Read the Houston Courant to get the latest news about the trial of Derek Chauvin.