Police in North Carolina’s capital city have released video footage that shows the arrest of an unarmed Black man who died after officers forced him onto the ground and repeatedly used stun guns on him despite warnings of heart problems.
Video released by Raleigh Police Department shows officers holding a black man on the ground and shocking him with a Taser as he is heard telling officers that he suffers from heart problems before going unconscious and stopping to breathe.
Darryl Tyree Williams, 32, died in a Raleigh hospital in the early hours of January 17, according to a report by Police Chief Estella Patterson.
The footage authorized to be released by a state judge this week shows officers approaching and searching Williams near a parked car. Police have said officers had been conducting proactive patrols of nearby businesses.
The video collating officer-worn body camera footage, dash cam footage, and surveillance clips from the area show officers approaching the parked car of which Williams was occupying the driver's seat.
In the video, Williams and the unidentified passenger can be heard repeatedly asking the police why they were being removed from the car. “What’s going on?” Williams asked several times as an officer positioned him against his car to conduct a full body search.
As officers tried to detain him, Williams resisted and a struggle ensued. A man can be heard on several of the body-worn camera recordings saying “I’m not doing anything.”
Moments later, the officer is seen pulling a folded dollar bill out of Williams’ side pocket and indicates in the video he has detected a white powdery substance folded into the bill.
One officer 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 he attempts to flee.
The roughly 13-minute video shows multiple officers trying 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.
One of the videos begins with Williams already on the ground and officers kneeling over him. He can be heard moaning.
Williams became unresponsive and stopped breathing after he was handcuffed, according to the preliminary report, and officers began checking his pulse and performing CPR on Williams once they determined he had difficulty breathing.
The Emergency services arrived and transported Williams to the local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations and Raleigh Police Department are investigating the incident, according to the preliminary report.
“How many times do we have to watch public executions before policing will be held accountable?” Dawn Blagrove, executive director of Emancipate NC, a criminal justice reform group said.
Williams’ death is the latest high-profile example of police using excessive force against Black people and other minorities.
Calls have been growing for US police reform after the brutal killing of George Floyd, an African-American man who died after former policeman Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2020.
Since his death, the House of Representatives has twice passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing bill, but Senate Republicans have opposed the legislation.
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