(RALEIGH, N.C.) — Six Raleigh, North Carolina police officers are on administrative leave and a man's family and friends are looking for answers after he died hours after getting tased by police.
Darryl Tyree Williams allegedly yelled that he had heart problems as the officers tased him during the Jan. 17 arrest, according to a preliminary report issued Monday by the Raleigh Police Department. After becoming unresponsive and showing no signs of a pulse, police and an EMS team tried to resuscitate Williams, who was taken to a hospital where he died an hour later, the report said.
As an internal investigation continues, Williams' mother, Sonya, said she is still trying to come to terms with what happened.
"I'm just trying to cope with this as best I can," Sonya Williams told ABC affiliate WTVD on Thursday. "My emotions (are) just everywhere. I just can't comprehend that this happened to my son."
The report named six Raleigh police officers who were involved in the incident: C.D. Robinson, J.T. Thomas, D.L. Aquino, J.R. Scott, D.L. Grande, and B L. Ramge. All officers were in uniform and driving marked cars when the incident was recorded on body cameras and dash cameras, the report said.
The police department will petition for the release of that footage, according to the report.
Around 1:55 a.m., Robinson and Thomas were conducting a patrol of Rock Quarry Road and asked for backup to which Aquino responded, according to the report.
"This location has a history of repeat calls for service for drugs, weapons, and other criminal violations," the report said.
The officers found Williams along with an unidentified person in a car, and also allegedly found an open container and marijuana, according to the report. Officer Robinson allegedly found a dollar bill "containing a white powdery substance consistent with the appearance of cocaine," in Williams' pocket and proceeded to arrest him, the report said.
Williams allegedly resisted getting handcuffed, which prompted the officers to call for backup, according to the report. The officers then gave verbal warnings for Williams to comply or he would be tased, and Robinson deployed his Taser after Williams allegedly didn't obey the order, according to the report.
The weapon temporarily stunned Williams, but he allegedly kept resisting, the report said. Williams allegedly broke away from the officers and ran a short distance before losing his balance and falling forward, according to the report.
When officers caught up to him, they were joined by officers Grande and Ramge, and the struggle allegedly continued. "Over the course of 50 seconds, there were two separate Taser deployments in the drive stun mode," the report said, referring to the weapon's mode when it "is placed in direct contact with the body."
Officer Thomas made contact with his Taser on Williams' side, while Officer Robinson made contact with his Taser on the left side of Mr. Williams' back, the report said.
It was at this point that Williams was heard saying, "I have heart problems," the report, citing the unreleased body camera footage, said.
While the officers waited for an EMS unit to come to the scene, Williams, who was handcuffed, allegedly was unresponsive, not breathing and without a pulse, the report said. Officers allegedly performed CPR on Williams until EMS crews arrived on the scene and took over resuscitation efforts and transported him to a hospital.
According to the official report, Williams died around 3 a.m. An autopsy report and toxicology report are pending according to investigators.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) is conducting an independent criminal investigation and will present its findings directly to the Wake County District Attorney for review, the report said. The Raleigh Police Internal Affairs Unit is also conducting a probe.
Williams' death came two weeks after Keenan Anderson, the cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, died at a hospital on Jan. 3 about four and a half hours after he was shocked with a Taser by LAPD officers during an arrest.
His death and the officers' actions are also under investigation.
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