RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Raleigh City Council has voted to create a committee that will look into concerns from the community following the in-custody death of 32-year-old Darryl Williams.
According to the Raleigh Police Department’s preliminary investigative report, Williams died in their custody after he had been tased three times on Jan. 17.
Video from body camera has yet to be released.
The department’s report said officers were “proactively patrolling” businesses along Rock Quarry Road. When they tried to arrest Williams for drug violations, police reported he was “combative and resistant” and ran away from officers.
Police claim Williams was tased three times.
RPD’s report claims Williams can be heard on police bodycams, “I have heart problems.”
Williams later became unresponsive while in police custody, was transported to a hospital and was pronounced dead.
“Black communities constantly bear witness to and are directly traumatized by police violence in the name of preventative policing,” Jennifer McKinney said as she spoke to Raleigh councilmembers this week.
She was one of many speakers calling for police accountability and for a response to the demands made on behalf of Emancipate NC and Raleigh Demands Justice.
The group gave the city council a packet listing their demands and suggestions for implementation. The packet also called for the creation of a new committee that would look into the matter of police accountability.
Emancipate NC and Raleigh Demands Justice have made the following demands:
- Stop proactive policing
- Dismantling the police advisory committee
- Remove tasers from RPD
- Requiring implicit bias training for officers
- Firing the officers involved in Williams’ death
- Prosecuting officers involved in deaths
- Requiring individual professional liability insurance for officers
- Create HEARTS team without police (the program sends unarmed trained professionals to respond to crisis situations)
“There are a lot of valid, valid emotions tonight and I just want to acknowledge the harm and concerns brought up tonight around RPD and accountability,” councilmember Mary Black said after hearing from the public.
She moved to task the city’s Human Relations Commission with looking into how to develop committee that would address the concerns in the packet provided to the council.
Councilmember Jane Harrison requested that committee also look into broader ways to improve policing.
The council unanimously voted in favor of the motion.
It’s a move community members hope will stir change after several high profile deaths involving police in over the last several years.
“We made a lot of symbolic gestures. We renamed things. We took down a few statues but in the end, so what? People are still getting killed. We still have modern day Jim Crow,” said Jeremy Gilcrest to the council.