Antonio Williams was waiting for a cab one evening in 2019 when a group of NYPD officers pursued him, kicked him and punched him in the head, before shooting him fatally and killing him. let bleed for five minutes. And they still don’t reveal why they approached the 27-year-old in the first place, according to a lawsuit and new images released by his family.
“Nothing can bring Antonio back but over a year later … we have had no response and no accountability and it has to happen,” his sister, Nicole Williams, said at a press conference on Tuesday announcing the lawsuit against the city and the NYPD.
The lawsuit, filed in the Bronx Supreme Court, says Williams was standing on a Bronx street after watching a boxing match with friends on September 29, 2019 when members of the NYPD anti-crime unit “went on the sidewalk “in an unmarked car. and started yelling at the father of two.
Out of fear, Williams started to run – an answer the lawsuit underscores is in his legal rights since the officers had no suspicion of a crime. A second group of cops joined in the pursuit, tackling and hitting Williams on several occasions. It ended with six officers firing their guns, fatally striking Williams and one officer Brian Mulkeen.
The NYPD has never explained why Williams was approached or what led to the escalation of the use of force – a lack of transparency according to his family proves the NYPD recklessly killed him and Mulkeen.
“Antonio was standing right in the street, waiting for a cab when plainclothes NYPD officers jumped on him in the middle of the night, chased him, beat him and shot him down in a hail of at least 15 bullets,” Shawn and Gladys Williams, the 27-year-old’s father and stepmother, told The Daily Beast.
“We have filed this lawsuit and are fighting for justice because being a black man standing in the street should not be considered a crime and the Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD are treating our son’s murder as something they can simply grow under a carpet. Antonio was a loving son, father, brother and friend. We should be celebrating the holidays with him instead of filing lawsuits and fighting to have these dangerous officers fired.
The family released new footage of the incident on Tuesday, showing officers surrounding Williams and punching him at least eight times in the head next to a tree. He also shows them handcuffing Williams after the shooting, then standing around him for about five minutes before administering CPR. The lawsuit demands a jury trial and dismissals for the officers involved.
David Rankin, an attorney for the family, said on Tuesday that hitting someone on the head is not an effective strategy if you are trying to handcuff them.
“These are completely unnecessary head shots. Then you see an officer jump up and appear to fire a gun, ”he said.
A total of 15 shots were fired. According to the lawsuit, the police then chose to provide immediate assistance to Mulkeen, leaving Williams in pain and “unreasonably delayed in providing him with emergency medical attention.”
The NYPD had previously alleged that Williams grabbed Mulkeen’s pistol, which prompted him to unload himself. In an edited video of the incident released in December 2019, Mulkeen can be heard shouting, “He’s getting there – he’s looking for him!” But the family conflict allegations that Williams was seeking a gun and no gun belonging to the 27-year-old was found at the scene.
Recently released footage shows that after shooting him, officers still handcuffed Williams even though he didn’t appear to be moving.
“There is no reason, one, for you to perform CPR on someone who is handcuffed because that would make CPR ineffective. Second, there’s no reason to handcuff him in the first place because it doesn’t look like he’s moving, ”Rankin said. “And third, they don’t even start CPR until more than five minutes after the shoot. If you are planning to provide medical care to someone, you should of course do so immediately.
Eventually, Williams was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead from gunshot wounds to the head and torso. No officer has been charged or disciplined, and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office has not completed its investigation, prompting the family to continue their own attempt at justice.
The district attorney’s office and the NYPD did not respond to the Daily Beast’s request for comment.
The lawsuit alleges the incident violated New York state law and NYPD departmental regulations since officers had no probable reason to arrest Williams or view him as a threat.
Further, the lawsuit claims that, as recently as 2019, the NYPD “maintained a policy and / or de facto practice of illegally arresting and detaining minority residents of New York City without reasonable suspicion and / or evidence that ‘a crime had taken place, was happening or was about to happen.
“If you were in a white community there would never have been a stoppage. Not to mention a fight … and a murder.“
The Williams family received “a complete disrespect from the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD,” said Loyda Colon, co-director of the justice committee and spokesperson for Communities United on Tuesday. for Police Reform. “No family should be forced to wait this long without action and accountability, especially after living through the NYPD unfairly demonizing their loved one in an attempt to excuse the murder.
Colon said the Williams family had been forced to take legal action instead of having the officers “fired for their fatal and unlawful arrest, escalation and reckless shooting.” “They represent a danger to all New Yorkers,” Colon said.
Williams’ brother Justin said on Tuesday the family wanted to see the police fired and try “for unlawfully killing my brother.” Williams’ father Shawn Williams added, “Who do you turn to to hold the police accountable? Who is watching the police? “
For Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, who was killed by New York Police officers in 2014, Williams’ death was another example of police “getting away with murder.”
“They murdered him and tried to justify that the incident was his own fault,” Carr said Tuesday, adding that the NYPD would do “anything to save theirs.”
The officers involved in Garner’s death have never been charged. Carr said there were “too many empty seats at the table in black and brown communities and nothing is being done about it.” This is why I am committed to continuing to fight.
“If you were in a white community, there would never have been a stoppage. Not to mention a fight … and a murder, ”she said.
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