Family of 27-Year-Old Antonio Williams, Killed by NYPD, Slams Mayor and NYPD for Refusing Access to Unedited Police Body Camera Footage in Major Test of NYPD's Body Camera Policy
Father and Stepmother of Antonio Williams Respond to NYPD's Selective Release of Body Camera Footage
NEW YORK, NY – Today, Antonio Williams’ father, stepmother and brother – joined by elected officials and police accountability advocates – rallied in front of NYPD headquarters to protest Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD’s refusal to provide Williams’ family with full access to unedited police body camera footage of the September 29th Bronx police killing of Antonio Williams and Officer Brian Mulkeen. The rally took place after the Williams family was able to preview an NYPD-produced video that is expected to be released publicly today.
“Sadness, anger and questions – that’s what I feel after seeing their video. I saw and heard my brother being punched and beaten by officers before he was killed,” said Justin Williams, brother of Antonio Williams. “Not once did we hear any of the plainclothes police that jumped out at my brother and chased him in the middle of the night identify themselves. The video proves that my brother didn’t cause the death of Officer Mulkeen – the NYPD’s hyperaggressive policing and recklessness murdered my brother Antonio and the officer in a hail of fifteen bullets.”
“We’ve been asking to see all of the unedited police body camera footage for months, said Shawn Williams, father of Antonio Williams. “What they showed us was something the police edited and narrated, and then clips of body camera footage. We want to see all of the police body camera footage, we want to see what officers did after they shot my son -- and the only reason not to show it to us is if the police have something to hide. There is a major cover-up happening from the NYPD all the way up to the Mayor and we’re going to keep fighting until we get answers.”
“To even see the footage today, we had to fight. We were promised that we could see the footage next week, only to find out late yesterday that we would have to call out of work and come into the city today if we wanted to see it before it was made public,” said Gladys Wiliams, Antonio Williams’ stepmother. “Because of the NYPD’s reckless actions, we will not have our son with us for the holidays this month. His daughter and his son will be forced to grow up without their father. Antonio’s twin brother, other brothers and older sister no longer have him as a friend or a confidante. This is unacceptable and we are still demanding to see all of the unedited footage.
After the Williams family demanded they be able to view footage before it is publicly released, City Hall and the NYPD promised the Williams family they would delay public release to next week so that all interested members of the Williams family could view footage. Late Thursday September 12th, the Williams family was informed that the City and NYPD would no longer honor their promise and would proceed with releasing the video today, Friday September 13, 2019, although all members of Williams' family, including his mother Chanel McCray, were not able to travel to NYC to view the footage. Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD refused to show the Williams family the full unedited body camera footage of the incident, in spite of public pressure to do so.
“Two lives were lost that night in September, and both had families who loved them,” said New York City Councilmember Brad Lander. “By going back on their word to the grieving Williams family and failing to show them the full footage as they have requested, the Mayor and the NYPD have made clear which life mattered to them.”
Antonio Williams’ family were also joined by Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) members and partners, including: Justice Committee, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, MomsRising, Brooklyn Movement Center, NYC Anti-Violence Project, Gathering for Justice/NYC Justice League, Showing Up for Racial Justice; as well as Victor Dempsey, brother of Delrawn Small who was killed by NYPD Officer Wayne Isaacs in 2016; and NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
On September 29, 2019, Antonio Williams was standing on the sidewalk, waiting for a taxi, when plainclothes officers jumped out of cars at him after midnight. Antonio Williams was killed by NYPD officers after being chased, tackled and punched by officers. At least six officers – including Brian Mulkeen- drew their guns and opened fire, killing both Williams and Mulkeen in a reckless hail of 15 bullets. The NYPD has offered no explanation for why Williams was first approached or why they escalated the incident without reasonable suspicion of a crime.
Since Williams’ death, Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD have obstructed transparency and accountability for his family. They have refused to publicly release the names of officers involved, and have not provided - or committed to providing - the Williams family with access to full, unedited body camera footage or information about the investigation, discipline or whether officers are on modified status.
About Communities United for Police Reform
Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and reduces reliance on policing. CPR runs coalitions of over 200 local, statewide and national organizations, bringing together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those most unfairly targeted by the NYPD.