Footage recorded by Barrow County Sheriff’s Office showed the moments leading up to the death of a man who was in police custody.
Charles “Charlie” Williams, 30, was being moved from one facility to the Barrow County Detention Center around 2:30 that afternoon on Jan 27. Williams had already been arrest through the Auburn Police Department for charges of battery and cruelty to children, related to a physical confrontation in Auburn, Georgia, reported 11 Alive.
According to the family’s attorney, Williams was trying to protect children he believed were abused when he was initially arrested:
“Someone convinced him that the woman across the street was abusing her kids. He apparently saw the woman and, believing the kids were in distress, went to confront her. My understanding is that at some point he pushed her. Nothing that causes significant physical harm. But it was in front of the kids. So the battery charge for the lady, and the child cruelty charge for doing that in front of the kids. By no account did he touch the kids. He actually thought he was helping them. And the situation escalated.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Williams “became combative before making it into the jail. He fought with deputies for several moments and did damage to the patrol car he was transported in.”
The video shows Williams thrashing around inside one of the deputies’ vehicles.
One deputy can be heard telling Williams, “you’re going to be tased if you don’t cooperate, you will be tased if you don’t cooperate.”
Deputies tased Williams as soon as they opened the car door. Despite being tased, Williams continued to struggle, so 5 deputies piled on top of him in an attempt to restrain the agitated man.
It is still unknown how many times he was actually tased during the scuffle.
Williams is heard yelling, “Help me father. Father help me!” as police pull him out of the car.
Williams struggles with police for about 6 minutes before becoming silent. Shortly after his silence, a deputy says a medic may be needed, and he then orders Williams to “wake up.”
About 2 minutes after he went silent, police decided to perform CPR, then the video ends.
According to 11 Alive, deputies attempted to revive him but failed. Williams was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
An autopsy has been completed, but the cause of death has not been made public.
Rod Dixon, the Williams family’s attorney, released a statement after the video was released saying:
“In situations like this, where someone dies in police custody, it is important not to rush to judgment. At the same time, it is important to examine the actions of law enforcement officers to ensure the protection of life. While this video answers some questions about how Charlie died, it raises others. Why was the use of the taser so immediate? Clearly, they did not give Charlie the opportunity to exit the vehicle before utilizing the device. Upon what part of Charlie’s body was it deployed? How many times did they tase him?
Important is the issue of why over two minutes elapsed between the time the officers notice Charlie is unresponsive to the time when they flip him over and realize the need to perform CPR.
We will continue to gather evidence and evaluate the nature of Charlie’s death. I hope the law enforcement officers acted reasonably and according to established policy and procedure. I never want to see anyone die unnecessarily.”
Watch the disturbing video below: