Frederick Williams last words as he was carried into the Gwinnett County jail were, “Don’t kill me, man. Don’t kill me.” It turned out to be an unheeded plea – minutes later he was dead after receiving 5 direct stuns from a Taser gun in the span of 60 seconds. From Atlanta’s NBC affiliate WXIA:
A Gwinnett County grand jury had decided not to pursue charges in the Taser gun-related death of an inmate at the county jail.
Inmate Frederick Williams died last year after Gwinnett deputies used a Taser gun to subdue him.
Williams’ widow, Yanga Williams, said he was in a rage when she called officers to her home last May. She says her husband’s violent behavior was due to his failure to take medication for epilepsy.
District Attorney Danny Porter provided details of the investigations to a grand jury and that grand jury decided not to pursue an investigation of their own. They, however, chose not to view the videotape taken at the jail.
“They were aware of the tape and the disturbing aspects of it, but chose not to view it,” Porter said. “They chose not to see it and chose not to go any farther. For all intents and purposes, this ends my case,” he said.Before sending the case to the grand jury the DA declined to prosecute any of the deputies involved in the incident.
Is this a tragic accident or criminal (or civil) negligence? Watch the video for yourselves [Windows Media] and see if you think the application of 5 direct tasers shots to the chest was an appropriate level of force. Be sure to listen for the line, “Do you want another one?” from one of the deputies, which might change your mind if you were initially inclined to give deputies the benefit of the doubt.
Additional reporting on the story available from the Atlanta Journal Constitution (registration required).