Investigation Underway After Man Dies in Raleigh Police Custody

Six police officers in Raleigh, North Carolina are currently on administrative leave while an investigation is being conducted following the death of 32-year-old Darryl Tyree Williams last month. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is conducting a criminal investigation into the incident, and its findings will be presented to the Wake County District Attorney. Footage from the incident, including body camera footage from the officers involved, has been released following authorization from a Wake County judge.

According to a memo from Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson, the incident took place during “proactive patrols” of businesses in an area with a history of criminal violations. The body camera footage shows officers approaching a vehicle occupied by Williams and another individual, with one officer alleging that he saw an open container of alcohol and marijuana in the car. A physical scuffle ensued after the officer attempted to arrest Williams for possession of a controlled substance. The video shows the officers deploying tasers multiple times and placing Williams in handcuffs, with Williams expressing distress and begging for the officers to stop.

EMS was called at 2:02 a.m., but Williams was later pronounced deceased at a local hospital at 3:01 a.m. The cause of death, including toxicology results, is part of the ongoing investigation. Police recovered two firearms, marijuana, and suspected controlled substances from Williams’ vehicle. The Raleigh Police Protective Association, which represents two of the officers involved, stated that it could not determine any criminal actions or policy violations at this time.

The family of Darryl Tyree Williams “demands undelayed justice,” according to Dawn Blagrove, the executive director of Emancipate NC, a criminal justice advocacy group.