A trained MMA fighter who personally witnessed the death of George Floyd testified that officer Derek Chauvin used a "blood choke" during the arrest ... referring to the move as "torture."
33-year-old Donald Williams is a fighter out of the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy in Brooklyn Center ... and has a 6-6 record, according to Tapology.
Williams appeared on the stand in a Minnesota courtroom to testify about what he saw on the day Floyd died ... and his explanation was almost identical to the analysis of UFC superstar Jon Jones, who spoke out in the days following the incident.
"One, the neck was diagonal across the throat, which on a blood choke you attack the side of the neck," Williams said.
"To get the choke tighter, you hit different shimmies, which I felt the officer on top was shimmying to actually get the final choke in while he was on top to get the kill choke."
"Because a side choke or a blood choke can ultimately turn into death, which is what we've seen here."
In fact, Williams is shown in body cam footage of Tou Thao -- one of the other officers involved in the incident -- where he begs them to check Floyd's pulse ... and says point-blank Chauvin is using a "blood choke."
As we previously reported, Jones described the move in detail ... saying, "I wouldn't wish the way George Floyd was murdered on my worst enemy. That officer applied just enough pressure to keep him alive for almost six minutes in that chokehold."
"In all my years of fighting, I can honestly say I’ve never experienced anything close to that level of torture."
Deshayla Harris -- one of the stars of 'Bad Girls Club' -- died after falling victim to one of several shootings that occurred in her home state ... TMZ has confirmed.
Virginia Beach PD confirmed Deshayla's ID Saturday as one of two fatalities resulting from three separate shootings from Friday night ... which appear to be unrelated, but happened within a short time of one another. The other victim is 25-year-old Donovan Lynch.
Cops say Deshayla was a bystander for the second shooting, in which a stray bullet from the crossfire hit her. Police do not believe this was a mass shooting -- simply shots fired erupting from feuding parties near the beachfront area of town, where all the resorts lie.
Deshayla is said to have died at the scene. Upwards of eight other people were injured from the shootings -- and police say they have 3 individuals in custody in connection to at least one of those. Ahmon Adams, Nyquez Baker and Devon Dorsey Jr. were arrested and charged with several different counts -- including assault, use and reckless handling of a firearm, among others. VBPD says none of these guys were involved in the shooting that killed Deshayla ... it's unclear if any suspects have been apprehended for that just yet.
Deshayla is known for her appearance on Season 17 of 'BGC' ... which was dubbed 'East Meets West.' They slugged her on the show as the Firecracker Fashionista. Deshayla was portrayed as feisty and a proud East Coaster. She was also a brawler -- getting into a memorable fight with another cast member, Francesca, after spitting in her face.
Despite the bad blood on the show, it appears some of her fellow costars sent their condolences on word that she'd been killed, including Key Marie who posted a tribute to Deshayla on Instagram.
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She writes, "No matter how much I refused to talk to you...you never took no for an answer you popped up to my show just to prove fixing our friendship meant something to you 🥲 hardest part about losing you is I never fully forgave you 😫😔 I literally let that TV s*** stand between us building a connection outside of tv 😔🥲🥲🥲 you didn’t deserve this man this shit jus don’t feel real ....I’m sick affffff 🥲🥲 rest easy Babygirl "
Deshayla's final IG post from Friday appears to show her out and about in downtown Norfolk, VA -- which is a stone's throw away from where she was ultimately gunned down.
She was 28.
Miami Beach cops have 2 men in custody for allegedly drugging and raping a young woman who'd traveled there alone for spring break ... and cops say she was left for dead in her hotel.
24-year-old Christine Englehardt's body was found in her hotel room late last week after allegedly being carried up in a disoriented state by Dorian Taylor and Evoire Collier ... whom police say sexually assaulted her after drugging her.
Reports say police looked at surveillance footage, which allegedly shows the party of 3 walking into the hotel lobby at around 1 AM Thursday, with the 2 men holding Christine up by her neck as she staggered along. Cops say Collier and Taylor then left about an hour later, with some of Christine's property ... including credit cards, cash and her phone.
Collier and Taylor were eventually tracked down, arrested and booked on a number of charges -- including burglary with battery, sexual battery, petty theft and fraudulent use of a credit card. They have not been charged for her death.
Englehardt's father told local media his daughter had traveled to Miami alone to party for Spring Break. Even more eerie ... she's reported to have posted about not trusting strangers on her Facebook page, apparently warning women to trust their instincts and be safe.
Justin Bieber is back in L.A. after a break in the islands, and one of his first orders of business is telling prisoners about the big man upstairs ... TMZ has learned.
The singer's RV was spotted Tuesday pulling into the California State Prison of L.A. County -- which prompted the question ... what the heck is he doing there, especially on the heels of his Turks and Caicos weekend getaway with the missus???
The answer, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, is quite simple -- the Biebs was there to spread the good word.
A rep for the CDCR tells TMZ ... the warden of the state prison signed off on a brief visit for him and his pastor to support faith-based programs. Unclear what JB exactly did -- singing or speaking the gospel -- but we're told COVID protocols were followed to a T, and it all went smoothly.
Gotta love how he packed a vacation and important charitable work into the same week -- one day on the beach, the next preaching behind bars.
The family of the Asian grandmother senselessly attacked in San Francisco aren't keeping a penny of the nearly $1 million they've raised online -- a move made at the behest of the victim herself.
Xiao Zhen Xie was one of two older women 39-year-old Steven Jenkins allegedly bum-rushed last week along Market Street. Cops arrested Jenkins on the scene, but not before he got his ass handed to him by Xie ... who reportedly fought back with a piece of wood.
As you can see, Xie was left with black eyes, a swollen face and severe trauma ... according to her family. Thankfully, her grandson, John Chen, says she's doing better now ... but in the immediate aftermath, the family started a GoFundMe that has since raised upwards of $907k, from more than 30,000 donors.
The GFM's stated intent was money for medical expenses, but Chen just announced they're not holding on to any of the cash -- instead, they're pouring it back into the AAPI community. He says Grandma Xie ordered it so.
Chen explained his grandmother insisted they use the money to help combat the racism and hate Asian-Americans are experiencing right now. He says she told him the issue was bigger than her, and she wanted the money to help others.
It's unclear where exactly they're going to donate the money -- but in any case, it's the epitome of paying it forward.
NBA YoungBoy is in FBI custody after LAPD cops pulled him over and tracked him down when he allegedly attempted to flee the scene.
We're told the bust went down Monday ... LAPD and the feds attempted to pull over a vehicle NBA YoungBoy was in because he has an outstanding federal warrant. That set off a short pursuit -- but once the car stopped, cops say the rapper bolted on foot.
Our law enforcement sources tell us the cops set up a perimeter and brought in a K-9 to help find YoungBoy. BTW, we're told the police dog didn't bite him -- but did sniff him out.
We're told the cops found a firearm in the vehicle -- unclear if that belongs to YoungBoy, but we know the feds have him now.
We've reached out to his camp, but no word back yet.
Story developing ...
A Chicago Cubs prospect in their farm system got busted with a boatload of drugs -- so say police out of Colorado, who claim he was riding with a stash that would make Tony Montana blush.
25-year-old Jesus Camargo-Corrales was reportedly arrested this past week near Vail, where a sheriff's deputy says he saw Camargo's car speeding and changing lanes erratically. After pulling him over, Camargo and his 2 passengers said they were driving to Denver from Phoenix. They then gave conflicting stories on where they were going -- police then searched the vehicle.
A K-9 unit is said to have been brought in ... and cops say it sniffed something in the trunk. Cops say they discovered a Cubs duffel bag, which they claim contained 21 pounds of methamphetamine and 1.2 pounds of oxycodone pills ... plus other paraphernalia.
An arrest affidavit claims that, at first, Camargo tried playing dumb ... but then later allegedly admitted he'd been contacted by someone in Sinaloa, Mexico to deliver this bag to Denver -- and copped to the fact that he knew there might've been drugs inside, per law enforcement.
As for what his alleged payoff was going to be -- according to Camargo, per police -- for this run ... just a measly $500!!!
He was arrested and booked on drug charges, including unlawful distribution and possession of methamphetamine and oxycodone -- class 1 and class 4 felonies, respectively. Camargo is reportedly still in custody as of Saturday. Unclear if he's been arraigned on the charges yet.
The Cubs, for their part, say they're aware of the situation and are investigating the matter further -- refusing to comment beyond that. Camargo, a right-handed pitcher, was brought into the Cubs' farm system in 2014.
The Fresno Police Dept. was ordered to release body cam video that graphically shows yet another chokehold-related homicide ... and it's extremely hard to watch.
The incident occurred in 2017 ... Joseph Perez had suffered a mental breakdown and police were called to help. As cops tried restraining the 41-year-old, you hear him scream, "I can't breathe," and "Let me redeem myself."
The officers tell him to calm down and breathe, but Perez is clearly fighting for air and it becomes a vicious cycle -- the longer his airway is restricted, the more agitated he becomes and the officers use his resistance to justify more compression.
Paramedics arrived and told a cop to sit on the backboard they brought to carry Perez into the ambulance. The backboard was placed on Perez's back as his head was face down on the ground.
Perez died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.
Perez's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officers, the City and County of Fresno and the ambulance company.
Neil Gehlawat, the lawyer for the Perez family, says, "Compression asphyxia during restraining is all too common, and we hope to expose this pervasive tactic used by law enforcement officers across the country."
The Sheriff's Dept. reportedly declined comment, citing the ongoing lawsuit.
A dancer who once appeared on "Dance Moms" has been arrested for sexual battery on 2 of his underage students.
25-year-old Kevin Cosculluela was arrested on multiple counts of sexual misconduct last week in Orange County, FL ... including sexual activity with a 16 or 17-year-old child. He's also facing charges of solicitation of a minor and lewd and lascivious conduct.
According to the arrest warrant, the guy allegedly abused 2 underage dance students in 2020, one of whom he's accused of engaging in oral sex ... and allegedly exchanging nude photos with the other.
In the docs, obtained by TMZ, cops say the alleged victims met Cosculluela at a dance studio called Peaches Dance and Music in Orlando -- where they claim he took them under his wing for private lessons.
Police say one of the girls claims things escalated between them -- they started talking more, and eventually moved things over to Snapchat. The girl claims he got her to his apartment and talked her into performing oral sex. She claims that happened twice.
The other alleged victim says things never got physically sexual with Cosculluela -- but does allege he solicited nudes from her, and that one time ... he got on top of her while they were clothed on his bed.
Both alleged victims claim he would become angry and verbally abusive whenever they refused his demands, and they were afraid of him.
Cosculluela was booked and processed Friday and entered not guilty pleas.
A woman was arrested near the White House after reportedly telling cops she had a special delivery for President Biden -- a handwritten letter ... but much more ominous is that she had a loaded gun in her car.
The unidentified 66-year-old rolled toward a checkpoint in downtown D.C. Saturday evening ... close to the White House, which has a wide perimeter set for blocks on end. She was apparently with a man, and told cops they were there to meet Biden.
As for why ... cops say she told them she wanted to give him a letter. That prompted a search of the vehicle, where D.C. Metro says they discovered a loaded handgun. They claim the man she was with also had a BB gun -- but the woman was the only one arrested.
She was booked for possession of an unregistered firearm. The case has since been referred to the Secret Service.
The situation is eerily familiar ... there was another arrest like this back in January, when a Virginia man also drove up to a checkpoint, allegedly with fake inauguration credentials and a loaded firearm as well ... plus a ton of ammo, according to cops.
Just a day later, a woman was arrested under similar circumstances ... coming up to a checkpoint and trying to pass herself as a member of Biden's cabinet. She got busted too.
The National Guard's been in town since Jan. 6, and are set to stay there for a few more weeks. Probably a good idea.
Kevin Hart's personal shopper took that title way too literally, according to prosecutors ... who say the guy swindled Kev out of more than a million bucks.
Dylan Syer was in a NYC court Wednesday for his arraignment for grand larceny and 9 other counts ... after he allegedly used Kevin's credit card info to launder cash into his own account, and then burn through it.
Queens County D.A. Melinda Katz says Syer built trust with Kevin, when he was hired in 2015, by making legit, authorized purchases on behalf of Kevin. However, Katz claims Syer started siphoning off hundreds of thousands from Hart's credit cards, depositing the dough into his own bank account.
He wasn't saving for a rainy day, either -- Syer allegedly spent lavishly on himself. All in all, prosecutors say Kevin was defrauded out of nearly $1.2 mil over nearly 2 years. Much of that was allegedly used to buy pricey jewelry, watches, art, collectibles and luxury handbags.
The D.A. says Syer's haul included 5 Patek Philippe watches worth more than $400k, a Sam Friedman painting, at least 16 Bearbrick collectible dolls, 5 KAWS collectible dolls and 2 Louis Vuitton bags.
Prosecutors are trying to seize all the booty Syer allegedly purchased, so they get back Kevin's money.
Bruno Mars' "24K Magic" became a $100k nightmare for one Texas woman, who told cops she was hoodwinked into forking over a fortune to someone passing as the singer.
The alleged victim was 63 when she told cops in Houston she made an IG account in 2018, and connected with someone claiming to be Bruno. She says the person developed an online relationship with her and eventually asked for cash.
Of course, as is oftentimes the case with these stories, she says she cut a couple of checks and put 'em in the mail, as instructed -- one for $10k, and another $90k.
Police say the money found its way into the bank account of one Chinwendu Azuonwu -- a local man who was taken into custody on money laundering charges, along with an alleged accomplice, Basil Amadi, who's facing similar charges. Both men were in court this week.
According to legal docs, obtained by TMZ, 2 cashier's checks were made out to "Chi Autos" at the behest of the fake Bruno, to cover “tour expenses” ... that's what he told the woman, anyway. She says he also told her he was leaving the tour to come be with her.
Cops told local news outlets they believe these men may be low-level crooks working for scammers overseas -- and are hoping they cooperate to help uncover a potentially bigger criminal ring.
As for Bruno ... pretty sure this is something he does NOT like, he does not like! Not at all.
8:15 AM PT -- The Osceola County Sheriff's Office says their deputy who body slammed the female high school student is now on administrative paid leave pending an investigation, which is being headed up by a separate law enforcement agency.
The Sheriff, Marcos Lopez, says he turned the case over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement ... whom he says are going to get to the bottom of whether the officer did anything wrong here, or if he broke protocol/the law in restraining the teen.
Speaking of her, Lopez said the girl -- whose name or age he didn't mention -- was treated at the scene and later released, going on to say she was "fine."
On the other hand, the officer's name was dropped in the presser ... Ethan Fournier, who's been on the force for 10 years. Lopez didn't reveal his hand on any opinions, but he did say one interesting thing -- condemning death threats he claims have been hurled at Fournier to the utmost degree.
He said while he doesn't condone rogue officers who engage in violent behavior, he equally disavows anyone calling for Fournier's life. Lopez said he's innocent until proven guilty.
Florida cops are feeling the heat over that video of a deputy's assault on a female high school student ... so much so, they're addressing the case in a news conference.
The Osceola County Sheriff's Office will discuss the case Wednesday morning after the horrific incident at Liberty High School Tuesday afternoon. Video showed a resource officer violently restraining a female student, and throwing her onto the ground ... head first.
This is liberty high school in Osceola county and I’ve seen my share of body slams from that school not only by officers but from Deans as well. I’ve seen grown ass man hop on top of girls to hold them down while they are clearly in distress. pic.twitter.com/wyePuKVqqZ— LouluNev (@LouluNevy) January 26, 2021 @LouluNevy
In the video, you see the teenager hit the concrete hard, and her body goes limp. The officer proceeds to place handcuffs on her as the crowd around screams. Multiple people appeared to be recording, and caught the action from different angles. It looked like the student lost consciousness.
The only thing we've heard from OCSO thus far is that the officer was breaking up a fight, and that an investigation is underway.
Presumably, Sheriff Marcos Lopez -- who'll be at the podium shortly -- will have some sort of update on what they've learned at this point, and whether the officer will face any repercussions. It'll be interesting to hear if he denounces the act, or tries to justify it.
Several people have accused the officer of excessive force, with some supposed eyewitnesses claiming the girl was already under control and separated when the cop did what he did. Unclear how the student is doing, or what her condition is.
Originally Published -- 7:57 AM PT
One of the Capitol insurrectionists had plans to kill Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ... according to the Department of Justice.
The DOJ revealed new charges against Garret Miller of Texas, alleging he posted online death threats against the New York congresswoman the day of the siege, including one tweet that simply read, "Assassinate AOC."
That's terrifying, considering Rep. Ocasio-Cortez herself said she felt her life was on the line that day, and that she didn't know if she'd live to see tomorrow. Turns out, she was on to something ... at least according to authorities.
In addition to the alleged AOC threat, the DOJ says Miller also threatened the officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt. He said the officer "deserved to die" and that he wouldn't live long, because it was "huntin season." The feds say he was posting a ton before and during the attempted coup, and was saying things like, "civil war could start" and "next time we bring the guns."
In addition to the new death threats charges, Miller faces charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted buildings or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, obstructing or impeding any official proceeding and certain acts during civil disorder. He's one of several rioters who've been rounded up.
Interestingly, Miller said on social media that he wanted to implicate himself in the siege, and was not shy about copping to the deed ... based on screenshots the feds attached as evidence. AOC herself latched onto his stupidity when she heard about this guy.
She took to Twitter -- where a lot of his activity was captured, including his own footage of himself from inside the Capitol that day -- and wrote, "'Just wanted to incriminate myself a little' Well, you did!"
If the feds are right, it's further proof that a lot of these people intended to do great harm.
Justin Bieber is looking back at his tumultuous teenage years with humility -- reminiscing on how much he's changed since getting arrested for DUI, and everything else in between.
Bieber posted a photo of himself getting hauled off by cops in Miami in 2014, when he was arrested on suspicion of DUI, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license. Cops say he was drag racing in the streets, and later blew below the legal limit for people under 21.
He was 19 at the time, and in his caption ... Justin says he's come a long way since then, mostly due to the grace of God. He writes, "7 years ago today I was arrested, not my finest hour. Not proud of where I was at in my life. I was hurting, unhappy, confused, angry, mislead, misunderstood and angry at god."
He adds, "I also wore too much leather for someone in Miami. All this to say God has brought me a long way. From then til now I do realize something.. God was as close to me then as he is right now. My encouragement to you is to ‘let your past be a reminder of how far god has brought you."
JB finishes by saying, "Don’t allow shame to ruin your “today” let the forgiveness of Jesus take over and watch your life blossom into all that God has designed you to be. LOVE YOU GUYS WITH MY WHOLE HEART"
It's true, Justin was going through a lot back then. Right around the time he was busted for DUI -- which was later reduced to reckless driving and resisting arrest after the Biebs copped a plea -- he got nailed for egging his neighbor's house.
Bieber was charged with vandalism and ended up copping a plea. The egging was also the subject of a lengthy lawsuit that dragged on for years, which was ultimately settled.
There were other bumps in the road -- namely, him getting sued by a photog, which resulted in Bieber sitting for an infamous deposition where he gave tons of lip. He's had several paparazzi run-ins in Hollywood, figuratively and literally with cars of his and otherwise.
Point is, the guy's grown up a lot. At age 26, he's married ... a born again Christian ... and cranking out music like he used to. A lot of life he's lived in such a short time, huh?
Ariel Robinson -- a former winner of 'Worst Cooks in America' -- jokingly discussed raising kids in a brutal manner before she was charged with killing one of her own ... and we've got the video.
We've obtained footage of Ariel performing an impromptu stand-up routine in Spartanburg, SC in 2019, in which she's discussing trying to adopt a daughter ... and a social worker coming to her home to make sure she was a fit parent.
As Ariel recounts the story, she talks about two other children of hers -- an 8-year-old boy and an 11-year-old boy, both of whom wanted a little sister -- and how they were acting wild while the worker was there. She says she should've locked them up in cages as a result.
Nothing too crazy ... but watch what she says next. She jokes that at one point, she turned around and screamed upstairs to the boys, "Shut up before I come in there and punch in your throat!" ... adding that she'd reached her "mommy level" of frustration.
It got a bit of a mixed reaction from the crowd, which Ariel also played up ... saying the social worker looked at her like they all were. Then, she says she got "approved." Unclear if this story relates to the adopted daughter she and her husband are accused of killing.
As we reported ... Ariel and Jerry Robinson were arrested and charged with homicide of a 3-year-old girl -- who has since been identified as Victoria Smith, a toddler who'd spent a majority of her life in foster care. Reports say the Robinsons adopted her at some point.
Authorities list a series of blunt force injuries that led to her death.
Again, no word on whether Ariel was simply making up a story here ... or if she was telling the truth. But in any case, it's a red flag on its face, and tragic it wasn't recognized earlier.