'A good spirit': Friends and family hold balloon release, vigil for Darryl Williams

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Friday, January 20, 2023
Friends and family hold balloon release, vigil for Darryl Williams
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Friends, family and community members hold vigil for Darryl Williams who died while in custody of Raleigh police.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- It has been an emotional few days for the family and friends of 32-year-old Darryl Williams.

"I love y'all with all my heart. If it wasn't for your strength I don't know what this family will do," said Williams' Aunt as she spoke to a group of people who stood in solidarity with her family following the death of her nephew.

Williams' childhood friend Darius Jarrel described him as a person with a great spirit and full of energy.

"He was such a great character in life. He had such a good spirit," said Jarrel.

It's a life family and friends like Jarrel said was unjustly cut short.

"Anything that happened on this occasion, it could have been dealt with so calmly, versus the violence from people who were supposed to protect and serve you," he said.

Early Tuesday morning, Williams came face to face with Raleigh Police Officers.

Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said Tuesday afternoon that officers on patrol located a suspicious vehicle, and sometime during their investigation, a decision was made to make an arrest. Police said Williams ran and a taser was deployed.

The details around the encounter in a parking lot off Rock Quarry Road are still unknown.

Two days later, in the same parking lot, the community gathered in a spot for a vigil to reflect and remember Williams' life. They also demanded transparency from the police.

"We need some answers," said Williams' Aunt. "Why did my nephew get taken at such a young age? That's all we want."

Dr. Kimberly Muktarian is the founder of Save our Sons, a nonprofit based out of Raleigh that aims to end mass incarceration, stop the school-to-prison pipeline, and take out concerns about the U.S. criminal legal system. She understands why black men might feel the need to run.

"If you don't run you might be dead. And you don't get a chance to second chance that. It's happening more frequently than not. The old lynching style is no longer a rope and a tree, but a taser and the knee," said Muktarian.

She's standing in support of the Williams Family after her son had an encounter with police at 19 years old.

"The community will see it one way, officers will tell it another way. But the DA will make the final decision. And as a community, we have to demand another type of policing," said Muktarian.