Family Of Antonio Williams Demand That Mayor De Blasio And The NYPD Stop Hiding Critical Information And Fire Officers
Today, the family of Antonio Williams, the Justice Committee, and Communities United for Police Reform are demanding Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD fire the NYPD officers who killed Antonio Williams in 2019 and stop hiding critical information related to the killing. Lawyers for the Williams family filed a brief yesterday opposing the City’s and the NYPD’s baseless attempts to keep critical information about the NYPD killing of Antonio Williams hidden.
Two years ago, on September 29, 2019, Antonio Williams was waiting for a taxi when plainclothes officers in an unmarked vehicle racially profiled Antonio, jumped out of their car, and began to chase him without cause. NYPD officers escalated their unconstitutional stop, tackled, and beat Mr. Williams, recklessly opening fire, killing both Williams and NYPD officer Brian Mulkeen in a hail of 15 bullets – some shot from over 60 feet away.
In December 2019, the Williams family submitted a FOIL request to the City and NYPD to get answers about the killing of Antonio, including basic information about the officers, medical treatment provided to Antonio after he was shot, any investigations or discipline for the officers that may have occurred, and body-worn camera footage, among other items. The City and the NYPD have refused to comply with the FOIL request and, in a move that would further delay accountability for NYPD and officers, are now trying to force the Williams family to submit a new request instead of responding to the original.
Last week, the family met with the CCRB when they learned the board would open an investigation into the killing.
Below are statements from Shawn Williams and Gladys Williams, father and stepmother of Antonio Williams; Nicole Johnson, sister of Antonio Williams; David B. Rankin, the Williams’ family attorney of Beldock Levine & Hoffman, LLP; and Loyda Colon, the Executive Director of the Justice Committee and spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform.
“The last two years have been extremely painful for our family," said Shawn Williams (he/him), father of Antonio Williams and Gladys Williams (she/her), stepmother of Antonio Williams. “We can’t talk to Antonio anymore, no more picking up the phone to call him, no more holidays. The NYPD took this all away from us and nobody has been held accountable, now the City and the NYPD are trying to kick the can down the road again by refusing to release the information and basic answers we deserve. Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD have failed us. We’re still demanding that Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD fire Sgt. Jason Valentino, Det. Daniel Beddows, and Officers Brian Mahon, Keith Figueroa and Robert Wichers, and all the other officers who engaged in misconduct, and the CCRB to investigate quickly and thoroughly. We need the City to do the bare minimum, follow the law, and release the information we need so the truth can come out.”
“Nobody should have to go through this kind of pain, but if Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD keep refusing to give us any shred of transparency or hold the officers accountable, I’m afraid more families like ours will suffer,” said Nicole Johnson (she/her), sister of Antonio Williams. “Two years ago the NYPD killed my brother Antonio while he was just waiting for a cab. They had no reason to stop him. They racially profiled him during an unconstitutional stop, chased, tackled, beat, and murdered him. Nobody has been held accountable. We are demanding that Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD fire all the officers. Nothing will bring Antonio back but we deserve basic information about what happened that night and in the two years after.”
“The NYPD routinely targets Black, Latinx, and other New Yorkers of color with unconstitutional and illegal stops. Antonio Williams was one of those New Yorkers and that illegal stop resulted in the NYPD killing him in a hail of 15 bullets, some shot from over 60 feet away,” said Loyda Colon (they/them), Executive Director of the Justice Committee and a spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform. “For too long Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD have allowed cops who brutalize, harass and kill New Yorkers to remain on the streets. Their legal tricks and delays are just another tool they use to allow the NYPD’s impunity to thrive and it must end. Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD must fire Sgt. Jason Valentino, Det. Daniel Beddows, and Officers Brian Mahon, Keith Figueroa and Robert Wichers, and all the other officers who engaged in misconduct related to the killing of Antonio Williams and must stop the delays and obstruction of basic information from coming to light.”
"Antonio Williams should be alive today. The NYPD needs to be held accountable for his killing," said David B. Rankin (he/him), Partner, Beldock Levine & Hoffman, LLP. “It’s been nearly 2 years since our FOIL request was submitted. We have had to take the City and the NYPD to court to get them to comply with the law. Their attempts at evasion end now. The family must be allowed to see what these officers did and why they did it.”
On September 29, 2019, Antonio Williams was standing on the street, waiting for a taxi, when plainclothes officers in an unmarked car jumped out at him in the middle of the night. NYPD officers chased, tackled, and beat Mr. Williams. NYPD officers recklessly opened fire, killing both Williams and an NYPD officer, Brian Mulkeen, in a reckless hail of 15 bullets – some shot from over 60 feet away. For two years, NYPD has offered no explanation for why officers jumped out at Williams in the middle of the night, when he was just waiting for a cab, and has never articulated reasonable suspicion required to stop Antonio.
After the Williams family demanded they be able to view an NYPD-produced video before it was publicly released, the NYPD promised the Williams family they would delay public release so that all interested members of the Williams family could view footage. Late Thursday, December 12, 2019, the Williams family was informed that the City and NYPD would no longer honor their promise and would proceed with releasing the video on Friday, December 13, 2019, even though not all members of the Williams family, including his mother Chanel McCray, were able to travel to NYC to view the footage with this last-minute change. The NYPD has still not publicly released the full, unedited body camera footage.
In November of 2020, the family of Antonio Williams sued the City of New York and the NYPD following the release of security footage that supports the family’s statements that the NYPD engaged in an unconstitutional stop, unnecessarily escalated the interaction, and recklessly killed Williams and a fellow officer. It’s been nearly two years since original FOIL requests were submitted and Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD have not provided full FOIL disclosures related to the killing.
On September 22, the Civilian Complaint Review Board told the Williams family they would investigate the officers responsible for stopping, brutalizing, and killing Antonio Williams.
The Williams family is calling for the firing of all officers who recklessly shot a hail of 15 bullets, killing Antonio Williams and a fellow officer: NYPD Sgt. Jason Valentino, Det. Daniel Beddows, and Officers Brian Mahon, Keith Figueroa and Robert Wichers.
About Communities United for Police Reform
Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory and abusive 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.Topics: Antonio Williams