Man dies in custody after Raleigh police use stun gun on him

Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Questions arise after suspect dies after being Tasered
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Residents and activists want to know what led up to the death of a man who died while in police custody after police used stun guns on him.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh Police said a man died while in the custody of officers Tuesday morning after police used stun guns on him.

Police were called to a scene about 2 a.m. at Supreme Sweepstakes on Rock Quarry Road near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Officers were patrolling Rock Quarry Road when they located a suspicious vehicle near the sweepstakes business.

Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said the man became unresponsive after being tased and was taken to the hospital where he later died.

"The decision was made to make an arrest; the suspect ran from officers. During that time, officers tried to get the individual into custody. He resisted and a Taser was deployed," Patterson said. "Officers were then able to get the individual into custody and handcuffs -- where he later became unresponsive."

The man's identity has not been released by police, but a friend says it was Daryl Williams. ABC11 also spoke to Williams' mother who confirmed his identity.

Patterson said WIlliams was resisting arrest and officers attempted life-saving measures after deploying Tasers.

People inside the business said they were forced to stay inside for at least two hours while investigators looked for clues.

"It's scary. Even as a Black man, as a Black pastor, that doesn't except me from being killed by the police," said Gary Wilson, of Raleigh.

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Six officers involved have been placed on administrative duty.

Social justice activist Kerwin Pittman has questions.

"Why did this happen? What is going on? We need more transparency into what actually happened," Pittman said.

Pittman, who is part of Gov. Roy Cooper's North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equality in Criminal Justice, has been on the front lines of police-involved deaths for some time.

"What we need to lend more light onto is excessive force, and use of force," Pittman said. "So like, when is justifiable, force justifiable? And when does it become excessive."

Questions arise after suspect dies after being Tasered

This in-custody death comes just weeks after RPD rolled out its first-ever de-escalation policy. Under the department's de-escalation policy, an officer would consider whether a person's lack of compliance is a deliberate attempt to resist or other factors such as a language barrier.

"Clearly, they missed the mark. Somehow, man has lost his life," Pittman said. "So anytime somebody loses their life, the mark is missed.

The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the case. RPD is concurrently reviewing officers' actions to make sure policies and procedures were followed.

"I will tell you anytime there is a loss of life, that is taken very seriously by this police department and we're going to ensure that a full investigation is conducted into this matter," Patterson said.

The chief added that no guns were fired during the incident.

More details are expected to be revealed in the five-day report that Patterson will deliver to the city manager.

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