NORTH CAROLINA, USA – Police in Raleigh, North Carolina released video showing the events that led to the death of an unarmed Black man last month after officers repeatedly discharged stun guns on him.
In edited footage made public on Friday, February 10, by the Raleigh Police Department, Darryl Tyree Williams can be heard telling officers who are struggling to handcuff him that he suffers from heart problems.
The deadly encounter unfolded in early morning hours of January 17 as officers were conducting what Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson described in a preliminary report as “proactive patrols” in a business lot in the southeastern part of the North Carolina capital.
Six officers have been placed on administrative leave while several investigations into the events are ongoing, the report released last month said.
Last week, the Wake County Superior Court authorized the release of the footage which includes recordings from officers’ individual body cameras and dash cameras, as well as surveillance video from nearby buildings.
Body camera video shows officers approaching the parked car of which Williams was occupying the driver’s seat.
Police observed alcohol in an open container and marijuana in the car, according to the report, and one officer decided to arrest Williams after he found a folded dollar bill in his pocket that appeared to contain “a white powdery substance.”
In the video, Williams and the car’s other occupant, who has not been identified, can be heard asking why they are being questioned and searched. As officers tried to detain him, Williams resisted and a struggle ensued.
One officers can be heard threatening to discharge his Taser on Williams unless he stopped resisting. A stun gun was then released and Williams fell to the ground next to a parked car. Shortly after that he attempts to flee.
The roughly 13-minute video shows multiple officers responding to the scene to try to subdue Williams who is subsequently pinned to the ground.
“Put your hands behind your back, you’re going to get Tased,” one officer can be heard saying in the video. Police kept deploying their Tasers on Williams even after the man informed them about his heart issues.
“Relax man, relax,” someone said once Williams was placed in handcuffs and appeared to be having difficulty breathing. As Williams’ state appeared to quickly deteriorate, officers kept checking his pulse and requested emergency medical services to the scene.
According to the preliminary report, officers began performing CPR on Williams once they determined he was unresponsive.
EMS transported Williams to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3:01 a.m., just over one hour after officers had approached his car and asked him to step out of the vehicle, police said.
Two firearms, marijuana and “suspected controlled substances” were found in the car occupied by Williams, police said in the report.
Williams’ mother told the Washington Post that heart problems run in the family and that his father had died of heart issues.
The family viewed the footage before its public release and had no comment as of Friday, according to a media report.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations and Raleigh Police Department are investigating the incident, according to the preliminary report. – Rappler.com
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