Mom, best friend identify man who died in custody of Raleigh police

Elaina Athans Image
Thursday, January 19, 2023
Family, friend identify man who died in custody of Raleigh police
The mother and best friend of Darryl Williams identified him as the man who died while in the custody of Raleigh police officers Tuesday.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The mother and a friend of the man who died while in the custody of Raleigh police officers have identified him.

Darryl Williams' mother said her son was the person who died.

"I'm just trying to cope with this as best I can," Sonya Williams said. "My emotions (are) just everywhere. I just can't comprehend that this happened to my son."

Sonya said her son was a fun-going person who was loved by everyone. She said she deserves an explanation from the police about what happened.

"That's what's making me so upset because they're not telling me anything. So they're trying to hide something," she said.

Darryl was driving a black Mercedes the night he died. A memorial to his life has formed by his car and another one in the parking lot near where he died.

"I wouldn't want anyone to go through what I'm going through right now. It's really hard to lose a child," she said. "He's really going to be missed. It hurts me so much because I don't know what happened to him. If I knew what happened to him, it would try to ease my conscience a little bit."

ABC11 also spoke with a friend of Williams who also confirmed his identity.

"I feel hurt. I'm definitely going to be nervous when I get pulled over by the police again. This was my best friend. It's going to be a lot for me to move forward," Chris Carrington said.

About 2 a.m. Tuesday, police were called to Supreme Sweepstakes on Rock Quarry Road near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Officers patrolling along Rock Quarry Road said they found a suspicious vehicle near the business.

Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said the officers decided to arrest the man, but when they approached him he ran off. Officers said they caught up with him but he continued to resist being arrested so they used a stun gun on him.

"Officers were then able to get the individual into custody and handcuffs -- where he later became unresponsive," Patterson said.

Williams was then taken to the hospital where he later died.

Six officers are now on administrative leave while the case is investigated.

Dr. Andrew Scott has 30 years of law enforcement experience, including Chief of Police in Boca Raton, Florida. He's now an expert witness on police practices and procedures. He said there are many unanswered questions.

" What was suspicious about the car? And when did the young man run? Did he run when he was trying to be placed under arrest? Did the officers already have probable cause to arrest him and tried to handcuff him? Or did the individual just run before he was placed in handcuffs for being told he was under arrest," asked Scott.

"I think you know; all of these pieces of the puzzle are very important for the public to come to understand whether this force was justified or not," he continued.

Scott also explained tasers are supposed to be a less lethal form of force.

"When a taser has been deployed on an individual and they become unresponsive, that is the anomaly, not the commonality. However, the anomaly is not so rare that it happens once in a blue moon. It happens more often," Scott explained.

"Law enforcement officers are trained to be cognizant of the possibility that an individual may suffer some type of physiological reaction as a result of the taser," he continued.

Scott said the autopsy report will be critical in this case. "The autopsy is crucial to determining why this individual passed."