The family of a man who was shot and killed in 2021 by officers with the DeKalb County police says they plan to announce a lawsuit under federal disability discrimination laws against the officer.
DeKalb County police Shooting Incident
The shooting occurred around 6 p.m. on April 12, 2021, located in the 2500 block of Terrace Trail. DeKalb County police said officers responded to a call about a man violently wielding a knife. Moreover, Investigators said the officers arrived and saw 35-year-old Matthew Zadok Williams, who was still in possession of the knife. The body cam video shows Williams coming at an officer with a knife in his hand, then police shooting at him. The footage shows that Williams then went back into the house and officers fired at him again.
The Body Camera Footage
The body camera footage shows that, Sgt. Devon Perry can be heard pleading with Williams to surrender. “Please, sir I’m begging you. I’m a Black man, you’re a Black man. You don’t have to die today. I don’t want you to die today sir,” Perry expresses. His family said was he bearing a mental health crisis and they desire the police would have instead gotten him help.
“We have had the displeasure of looking at over 10 hours of body cam footage and nothing in that footage reveals that Sergeant Perry should have fired into my brother’s house,” Hannah Williams told FOX NEWS in 2021. A doctor hired by Williams’s family said he would likely be alive today if officers aided him after they fired a gun at him. While the family and activists said Perry violated police guidelines that day, DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announced in 2022 that she would not file charges against the officer.
The Boston officer stated that “no criminal guilt” and called the use of power “justified” in the shooting incident. “It is no less a tragedy,” Boston said. “A life has been lost and for that, we extend our deepest condolences to the family.” Moreover, the family’s lawsuit alleges that DeKalb County violated the Americans with Disabilities Act in the occurrences leads to William’s death. The family will have a press conference at 10:30 a.m. Friday discussing why they filed the lawsuit under federal disability discrimination laws.
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