Raleigh Police release body cam video of night Darryl Williams died in custody

WTVD logo
Saturday, February 11, 2023
Raleigh Police release body cam video of in-custody death
Williams was the man who died last month in police custody after being tased three times.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh Police released body-camera footage Friday afternoon of the in-custody death of Darryl Williams.

The clips show the initial encounter between Raleigh Police and Williams, in which the department said in its 5-day report was part of proactive policing. Officers approached a parked vehicle, and when the passenger opened the door, police say they saw an open bottle of alcohol and marijuana. At that point, they asked both occupants to exit the vehicle.

Williams, who was in the driver's seat, and the passenger both obliged, though questioned why Raleigh Police requested them to do so. As they performed a body search of Williams, officers discovered a folded up dollar bill with what they said appeared to be the presence of a white substance consistent with that of cocaine. At that point, they attempted to take Williams into custody. Williams resisted arrest, and as he tried to break away, officers deployed a taser, which struck him and caused him to fall to the ground.

While officers were attempting to arrest him, Williams was able to break free and run a short distance across the parking lot before he fell again. Several officers approached, and again tried to take him into custody. They deployed a taser again, this time in drive-stun mode, which is when the device is physically pressed against the individual.

After this deployment, officers told Williams to put his hands behind his back, warning he would be tased again. Williams told them he had heart problems, a point previously acknowledged in Raleigh Police's 5-day report.

Officers tased him again in drive-stun mode and were able to place handcuffs on him at 2:00 AM.

At 2:02, they call EMS, which is departmental policy when an individual has been struck with a taser. Officers continue checking on his condition and pulse, ensuring he is breathing. One officer can be seen rubbing his chest, as they discuss whether they should re-position him. An officer places his foot under Williams head to provide support.

At 2:06, officers are unable to detect a pulse and begin CPR, as they place an additional call to EMS.

Just over a minute later, a Raleigh Fire Department truck arrives on-scene, and takes over CPR.

After being transported to a local hospital, Williams was pronounced dead at 3:01 AM.

"Watching the video as a mother, as a black woman who has a husband and has children that navigate the streets of Raleigh, that video is terrifying. Watching the way that he was treated in such an animalistic way," said attorney Dawn Blagrove, who is Executive Director of Emancipate NC.

Blagrove was part of a group of advocates which submitted eight demands to Raleigh City Council earlier this week stemming from Williams' death:

1) Firing of officers involved in Williams' death

2) Immediate end of proactive patrols

3) Immediate discontinuance of tasers until the department provides they are following policies

4) RPD officers carry own liability insurance

5) Dismantling and rebuilding of Police Accountability Board

6) All RPD officers undergo implicit and racial bias training

7) City of Raleigh full fund 24/7, stand-alone non-law enforcement team akin to HEART program in Durham

8) City of Raleigh adopt George Floyd Justice In Policing Act

"This family is devastated. And just to be clear, because of state statute, only his mother and one other family member was allowed to see (the videos prior to its public release). The vast majority of Darryl's family saw this video today with everyone else," Blagrove said.

During an interview with ABC11 earlier this week, Blagrove questioned why officers approached the vehicle initially, a point she expanded on Friday.

"There was nothing that appeared to be going on that was illegal activity that would have drawn them to that car," said Blagrove.

She added nothing in the videos changed their initial position regarding the circumstances of the interaction.

"There needs to be accountability. These officers, there was no reason that Darryl should be dead right now. And we want to see the city of Raleigh finally take seriously the need to bring real accountability to the Raleigh Police Department," said Blagrove.

WATCH: What is Raleigh Police Department's Proactive Patrol and is it effective?

Officers were conducting a Proactive Patrol on January 17, which ended with the death of Darryl Williams in southeast Raleigh.

VIDEO: Surveillance from night Darryl Williams died in police custody

VIDEO: Surveillance from night Darryl Williams died in police custody