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Darryl Tyree Williams - black man killed by police in Raleigh

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A wrongful death lawsuit is expected to be filed more than one year after an unarmed and handcuffed Black man died following being repeatedly tased by police officers in North Carolina.

Darryl Tyree Williams, 32, died from “sudden cardiac arrest” after the altercation with Raleigh police in January of last year, according to an autopsy.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Williams’ family, is scheduled to announce the lawsuit on Monday.

Crump is expected to be joined by Williams’ family and other attorneys at the Mt Peace Baptist Church where he will announce the wrongful death lawsuit that names the City of Raleigh, the chief of Raleigh Police, and the officers involved in Williams’ death as defendants.

What happened to Darryl Tyree Williams?

On Jan. 17, Darryl Tyree Williams died about an hour after a Taser was deployed on him multiple times by Raleigh Police Department officers. His death was also ruled a homicide by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. 

According to the autopsy report, Williams’ death was caused by “sudden cardiac arrest in the setting of cocaine intoxication, physical exertion, conducted energy weapon use, and physical restraint.” The report also revealed Williams had “cocaine and a chemical that’s contained in marijuana in his blood. 

Williams told officers as they were deploying the Taser that he had heart problems and pleaded for them to stop, Crump and attorneys Dawn Blagrove and Kenneth Abbarno previously said.

According to the police, two officers tased Williams a total of three times while trying to bring him into custody. Video footage from the police body and dash cams show Williams pleading with police to stop. He eventually breaks away and is tased again. He then tells multiple officers that he has heart problems, but the officers tase him again. 

“The findings from this autopsy serve as a chilling confirmation of what we have known to be true since we first viewed the video footage: Darryl’s death was a direct result of excessive and unreasonable police force,” the family attorneys said last June. “Despite officers knowing of his heart condition, they deployed a Taser against him numerous times, showing a shocking disregard for his life.”

Six officers were placed on administrative leave. Williams’ family has called for the officers involved to be fired and charged in the death.

“We will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of truth, justice, and accountability, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that those responsible for this senseless loss of life are held accountable and that meaningful changes are implemented to prevent a tragedy like this from occurring in the future,” attorneys for the family previously said.

The State Bureau of Investigation also conducted a probe into the incident and has reported its findings to Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman, who ultimately declined to bring criminal charges.


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