Police in North Carolina released video of Taser use on black man who died

Police in North Carolina released video of Taser use on black man who died

(Reuters) – Police in Raleigh, North Carolina, have released video showing the events that led to the death of an unarmed black man last month after officers repeatedly fired a stun gun at him.

In edited footage released by the Raleigh Police Department on Friday, Daryl Tyree Williams can be heard telling officers who are struggling to handcuff him that he is suffering from heart problems.

The fatal collision occurred in the early morning hours of Jan. 17 as officers were conducting what Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson described in a preliminary report as a “proactive patrol” at a business in the southeast part of North Carolina’s capital.

According to reports released last month, six officers have been placed on administrative leave while several investigations into the incidents are ongoing.

Video collating officer-worn body camera footage, dash cam footage and surveillance clips from the area show officers approaching a parked car with Williams in the driver’s seat.

Police observed an open container of alcohol and marijuana in the vehicle, and an officer decided to arrest Williams after he found a folded dollar bill in his pocket that appeared to contain “a white powdery substance,” according to the report.

In the video, Williams and the other occupant of the car, who has not been identified, can be heard asking why they are being questioned and searched. When officers attempted to detain him, Williams resisted and a struggle ensued.

An officer can be heard threatening to discharge his Taser on Williams unless he stops resisting. A stun gun was then discharged and Williams fell to the ground next to a parked car. After some time he tried to escape.

The nearly 13-minute video shows multiple officers responding to the scene to try to subdue Williams who is subsequently pinned to the ground.

“Put your hands behind your back, you’re going to get tased,” an officer can be heard saying in the video. Police continued to deploy their Tasers on Williams after the man informed them of his heart problems.

“Relax, relax,” someone said as Williams was handcuffed and struggling to breathe. As Williams’ condition rapidly deteriorated, officers continued to check his pulse and requested emergency medical services at the scene.

According to initial reports, officers began performing CPR on Williams when they determined he was unresponsive.

EMS took Williams to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3:01 a.m., just over an hour after officers approached his car and asked him to get out of the car, police said.

Williams’ mother told The Washington Post that heart problems run in the family and that her father died of heart problems.

According to a media report, the family saw the footage before it went public and did not comment until Friday.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations and the Raleigh Police Department are investigating the incident, according to preliminary reports.

(Reporting by Maria Kaspani in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)

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