'I have heart problems.' Man was tased multiple times before death, RPD says he resisted arrest

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Monday, January 23, 2023
RPD: Man resisted arrest, tased multiple times before death
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Raleigh police release report on the death of Darryl Williams who died after being tased multiple times; he told officers of heart problems

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- More details have been released in the investigation into the death of a man in police custody in Raleigh.

The department's five-day report on the death of Darryl Williams was released just after 12:30 p.m. on Monday.

Police said Williams ran from an arrest and officers used multiple hits from stun guns to subdue him.

According to the RPD report, Officers C.D. Robinson and J.T. Thomas were patrolling the parking lot near Supreme Sweepstakes on Rock Quarry Road during the early morning hours of January 17.

Photo of Darryl Williams.

RPD said the area is a point of interest due to past reports of criminal activity.

Robinson approached a vehicle in the parking lot. He noticed two people in the front of the vehicle, and the passenger opened their door as he approached. Inside the car, Robinson said he saw bottles of alcohol and marijuana. He asked both people to get out of the car, and he radioed for assistance.

Robinson said he found a folded-up dollar bill in the pocket of the man who was sitting in the driver's seat of the vehicle, later identified as Darryl Williams. The dollar bill appeared to have cocaine on it, so Robinson decided to arrest Williams on possession of a controlled substance.

When Robinson told Williams to put his hands behind his back, Williams resisted. Other officers then arrived to help try and put Williams into handcuffs.

The officers said Williams continued to struggle and was able to pull away from them. They warned him, "stop or you are going to get tased."

The officers said Williams continued to resist, so Robinson fired his stun gun, striking Williams and causing him to drop to the ground. Officers said they again told him to stop resisting and place his hands behind his back. Another officer fired his stun gun but missed.

At this time, the passenger in the car took off running.

In the commotion, Williams also was able to get up and start to run across the parking lot. Officers again fired a stun gun at him, but it missed. However, Williams tripped and fell to the ground.

Officers then caught up with Williams and resumed the battle to get him handcuffed. Two officers fired their stun guns within a minute of each other in "drive stun mode." That means the stun gun was in direct contact with Williams' body. RPD said this is when Williams can be heard on body camera shouting, "I have heart problems."

READ FULL REPORT BELOW

Officers were then able to place him in handcuffs, turn him onto his side and call for EMS assistance.

While waiting for EMS to arrive, the officers noticed that Williams stopped breathing and had no pulse. They started to perform CPR and radioed for EMS to get there immediately.

When EMS arrived, they continued to try and resuscitate Williams. They also rushed him to the hospital, but he was pronounced dead at 3:01 a.m.

"Clearly no consideration was given to his health conditions when he expressed that he has a heart condition or heart problems that should have been took into consideration elsewhere. Certainly when you're tasing the individual, but even more so when multiple individuals are tasing, somebody on both sides of the body at the same time is extremely egregious for them not to take it into consideration," activist Kewin Pittman said.

Pittman and Williams' family plan to hold a press conference Tuesday morning in response to the new details released in the 5-day report.

Investigators said a search of Williams' car found marijuana and two guns, one of which had been reported as stolen.

Raleigh Police Department said it will petition for the release of body camera footage from the incident. It's unclear at this time when or if that video will be released.

The six officers involved in the arrest have all been placed on administrative leave and are under investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation and Internal Affairs, as is standard procedure in these cases.

Findings from the investigation will be shared with the Wake County District Attorney's Office. The DA will then decide if any charges should be filed.

The death of Darryl Williams by Raleigh police on was not the first time a person has died from a stun gun in North Carolina or in Raleigh.

While no state or federal agency officially tracks the number of deaths or injuries that stem from police officers' use of tasers, the site, Fatal Encounters, attempts to track police-related deaths from the past two decades.