RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Dozens of people sat inside Mount Peace Baptist Church in Raleigh on Thursday as national civil rights attorney Ben Crump joined the family of Darryl Tyree Williams, the man who died while in Raleigh police custody.
“That was my first born, that was my only son, he shouldn’t be dead, and I want justice,” Williams’s mom, Sonya Williams, said.
Officers say they were doing something called proactive policing on Rock Quarry Road back on Jan. 17 when they say they suspected alcohol and marijuana in the same car Williams was in. After officers stopped him and attempted to arrest him, they say he became resistant and that’s when stun guns were deployed.
In body camera footage, Williams can be heard telling officers he had a heart problem. Legally, Crump says, this is where officers broke the law.
“When you do an act that you know is going to compromise the health and safety of a human being, that is manslaughter,” Crump said.
He says this case in particular compelled him to come to Raleigh.
“It has to be something that shocks my conscience, because there are so many of these injustices that you can’t help them all, but it’s those that shock your conscience that make you compelled to act,” Crump said.
Activists marched from the church to the parking lot where Williams died, which is covered with candles and flowers. They say their work is just getting started but they want immediate change.
“What we want to see is real accountability. Accountability that is acceptable to the people. Accountability that has real teeth and can bring real consequences,” Dawn Blagrove, the executive director of Emancipate NC, said.
Six officers involved in the incident were placed on administrative leave.
The Raleigh Police Department does not comment on ongoing investigations.
The five-day report has indicated that all investigations are ongoing, will be thorough, and will follow the available facts and evidence wherever they lead. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) is conducting an independent criminal investigation and will present its findings directly to the Wake County District Attorney for review.
The Detective Division of the Raleigh Police Department is conducting a separate investigation into the actions of Mr. Williams. Additionally, the Internal Affairs Unit of the Raleigh Police Department is conducting an administrative investigation into the actions of the officers who were involved in the arrest. When complete, the administrative investigation will be reviewed by the RPD command staff.
In the spirit of transparency, the Raleigh Police Department has released information concerning the death of Darryl Tyree Williams: a Five-Day Report and an Addendum to the Five-Day report, which have been submitted to the City Manager by the Police Chief.Lieutenant Jason Borneo, Raleigh Police Public Information Officer