An unarmed black man, Byron Lee Williams, died while in police custody in Las Vegas on Sept. 5. He repeatedly told police that he could not breathe, but they ignored his pleas and stood on him.
Asst. Sheriff Charles Hank stated at a press conference that patrol officers came across a man who was riding a bicycle without a safety light, and attempted to stop him fir this violation, notes KNTV.
Williams tried escaping on his bike, then on foot, but eventually surrendered on a sidewalk. Williams told the officers he couldn’t breathe as they stood and kneeled on him.
The Las Vegas Sun reports an officer told Williams: “Yeah, because you’re tired of (expletive) running.”
After a few minutes of two to three officers standing on top of him, Williams was unable to walk when the cops tried to take him away.
Police called for assistance and the Las Vegas fire department medics arrived several minutes later. However, the police body cam was turned off before Williams was transported to the hospital.
Asst. Sheriff Hank said police policy allows officers to turn off their body cams once a suspect is in custody (even though a crime by the police could still take place).
Asst. Sheriff Hank added that Williams had absconded from electronic monitoring and police were looking for him.
During the incident, drugs allegedly fell out of Williams’ pocket.
William’s family is calling William’s death unjustified and are calling on the police to do the right thing.