A grand jury in Georgia has not only declined to watch a video of a Taser-related death, it has dismissed all charges in the case.
In the video, Frederick Williams, a 31-year-old father of four, can be seen being Tasered at least five times in the chest (in one minute) while being held down by several deputies in the Gwinnett County Jail.
In a letter responding to an article about the case in the Atlantic Journal-Constitution, Melvin Johnson, attorney for Williams’ family, described the circumstances of Williams’ arrest and death.
In summary, this is what happened:
It all began when Williams’ wife called 911 to report that Williams was behaving in a violent manner due to problems caused by medications he had been prescribed for epilepsy. (Bear in mind: Williams had neither threatened nor harmed anyone. Also, he was unarmed. His “violent” behavior, so far, amounted to nothing more than walking up and down his own driveway, “talking crazy.”)
In her 911 call, Mrs. Williams made it clear that her husband’s behavior was a result of his problems with the medication. Also, this information was repeated to the first police officer to arrive on the scene not only by Mrs. Williams, but also a deacon from the Williams’ church. They begged the officer not to approach Williams without backup from other officers, for they were concerned for the officer’s safety.
The officer responded by pulling out his baton, approaching Williams, and shouting for him to shut up. When the grievously afflicted Williams did not shut up, the officer began beating Williams with the baton. Williams reacted by grabbing the baton. A struggle over the baton ensued, during which the officer fell and sustained a minor injury; he then retreated and radioed for backup.
Backup arrived in the form of 10-15 cops. Together, they somehow managed to subdue the “crazy talking” Williams; that is, they all piled in to him and hog-tied him. Very brave.
Meanwhile, Williams’ wife and four young children, also the deacon and others begged the police to take Williams to the hospital for treatment. The police replied: “This guy has injured one of Our Own. We will take him to the jail and deal with him. We have all of the medicine we need at the jail.”
Mrs. Williams tried to give her husband’s medications to the police, but they knew better, of course; they had better medicine at the jail.
Meanwhile, the deacon had called the pastor of the church; the pastor asked to speak to an officer. The pastor too explained that Williams’ behavior was due to epilepsy and begged for medical attention. But he, too, was told the same: Williams will be treated with medicine at the county jail.
The medicine, apparently, was a Taser gun. Five jolts from a Taser, to be precise. Five jolts into the chest. In less than a minute. With several deputies holding him down. Police work at its finest.
In the aforementioned video, one deputy can be heard saying, “Do you want another one?”
Williams’ response (his last words, in fact): “Please don’t kill me …”
Read Melvin Johnson’s letter HERE.