Raleigh, NC – On January 17, Darryl Tyree Williams was tased to death by six Raleigh Police Department officers who have since been put on administrative leave, essentially a paid vacation.
The six officers named in the incident are C.D. Robinson, J.T. Thomas, D.L. Aquino, J.R. Scott, D.L. Grande, and B L. Ramge. As of writing, no bodycam or dashcam footage has been released to the public or the family. The preliminary police report attempted to smear Tyree Williams saying, “This location has a history of repeat calls for service for drugs, weapons and other criminal violations,” a common police tactic against victims of police violence. There was no apparent reason for police to demand to search Williams’s car besides blatant racial profiling.
Tyree’s family organized a vigil on January 19, where dozens of attendees released balloons in mourning “We love you Boo-boo”. Organizers held a protest during the Raleigh city council meeting on January 25 calling for Justice for Darryl Williams and defund the Raleigh police department.
Police approached Tyree’s vehicle while they were doing what Raleigh police call “preventative policing.” One family member said, “he was an innocent Black man minding his business” when police dragged him out of the car, “They tried to George Floyd my brother,” she said.
Police say they tased Tyree three times while Williams pleaded with police to stop and was heard saying “I have heart problems.” This police murder comes just two weeks after Los Angeles police murdered a teacher, Keenan Anderson, with a taser. Studies have repeatedly shown that tasers can cause heart problems in the people they strike. Often, victims have little control over their limbs which police will then point to claim they were resisting.
The Refund Raleigh Freedom Committee condemned the police murder and called for divestment from the police department and investing in Black lives by funding “affordable housing, healthcare, fair wages, childcare, and quality education.” The Refund Raleigh Freedom Committee is a community organization that has been calling for years for cuts in the police budget and moving that money to affordable housing developments, a city worker minimum wage of $25 per hour, and for the introduction of a mental health response unit separated from the police department, similar to Denver’s STAR program.
From Memphis to Atlanta to Raleigh to LA, racist police violence has continued unabated and police departments have continued to receive large budget increases at the expense of public schools and other public services. May Darryl Tyree Williams, Tyre Nichols, Keenan Anderson, Tortuguita, and the many victims of the brutal policing regime rest in power.