Civil rights attorneys are expected to denote a suit connected Thursday against the metropolis of Las Vegas and 4 constabulary officers connected behalf of the household of Byron Williams, an unarmed Black antheral who died successful 2019 successful constabulary custody after repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe.”
A quality league hosted by attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci is scheduled to statesman astatine 10:30 a.m. successful downtown Las Vegas, little than 2 miles distant from wherever Williams was stopped by constabulary for riding his bicycle without a information light.
Officers with the Metropolitan Police Department chased Williams and aboriginal handcuffed him connected the crushed successful a prone presumption with an officer’s genu connected his head, shoulders and back.
Previously released assemblage camera footage of the pre-dawn brushwood connected Sept. 5, 2019, revealed that Williams told constabulary helium could not respire astatine slightest 24 times.
Civil rights and constabulary accountability activists have drawn comparisons betwixt Williams’ decease and the 2014 in-custody decease of Eric Garner, a Black antheral who died aft a New York City constabulary serviceman placed him successful a chokehold, and whose last words — “I can’t breathe” — became a awesome successful the Black Lives Matter movement.
And yet, the attorneys wrote successful a quality merchandise up of Thursday morning’s conference, Williams’ decease “has not received wide attention.”
Crump and Romanucci accidental this is, successful part, “because the officers turned disconnected their bodycams,” and due to the fact that a bulk of the footage disposable successful the lawsuit was kept concealed by Metro for much than a year aft Williams’ death.
When released, the videos showed that Williams soon fell silent, and arsenic helium laic motionless connected the ground, facedown with his hands cuffed down his back, a radical of officers stood astir the 50-year-old man, laughing and making jokes.
Williams died an hr aboriginal from a operation of causes, including the “prone restraint” utilized by constabulary and a methamphetamine overdose, according to the Clark County coroner’s office. His decease was ruled a homicide.
Late past year, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson decided that none of the officers progressive successful Williams’ decease would look charges. Among those officers are Benjamin Vazquez and Patrick Campbell, who stopped Williams and chased him.
It was not instantly wide up of Thursday’s quality league which officers volition beryllium named arsenic defendants successful the lawsuit. Metro has said astatine slightest six different officers and a sergeant responded to the country to supply Vazquez and Campbell backup.
This is simply a processing story. Check backmost for updates.