Family Of Antonio Williams, Elected Officials, Call On Mayor De Blasio To Stop Hiding Evidence In Killing Of Antonio Williams
Today, the family of Antonio Williams, the Justice Committee, Communities United for Police Reform organized a rally with City Council Members Brad Lander, Antonio Reynoso and others to announce the filing of an Article 78 lawsuit to force the City to turn over critical information and evidence related to the NYPD killing of Antonio Williams.
In 2019, Antonio Williams was standing on the street, waiting for a taxi when plainclothes officers in an unmarked vehicle jumped out of their car at him in the middle of the night, without cause. NYPD officers escalated their unconstitutional stop, 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 50 feet away.
Since Williams’ killing, Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD have obstructed transparency and accountability for his family. They refused to publicly release the names of officers involved for months and have provided no updates to the Williams family regarding whether there has been any investigation or discipline of officers involved in killing Antonio Williams.
Below are statements from the Shawn Williams and Gladys Williams, father and stepmother of Antonio Williams; David B. Rankin, the Williams’ family attorney of Beldock Levine & Hoffman, LLP; organizers of the rally, and elected officials calling on Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD to stop hiding evidence and fire the officers responsible for killing Antonio Williams.
“Our son Antonio was a Black man waiting for a cab, minding his own business, when plainclothes police jumped out in the middle of the night without cause, chased him, beat him and then murdered him," said Shawn Williams (he/him), father of Antonio Williams and Gladys Williams (she/her), stepmother of Antonio Williams. "It's been almost two years since Antonio was murdered and Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD have repeatedly put out misinformation and kept evidence hidden while taking zero steps to fire or discipline the officers responsible. It's so bad we had to fight for months just to get the names of the officers who killed our son. Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD need to stop obstructing transparency and must fire the officers responsible, including NYPD Sgt. Jason Valentino, Det. Daniel Beddows, and Officers Brian Mahon, Keith Figueroa and Robert Wichers.”
“Antonio was waiting for a cab when a notoriously violent plainclothes unit of the NYPD jumped out of their unmarked car at him and then chased, beat, tackled, and shot and killed him. The NYPD does not create safety, it kills with impunity,” said Loyda Colon (they/them), Executive Director of the Justice Committee and a spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform. “In the hail of 15 bullets that killed Antonio, the NYPD also killed one of their own, Brian Mulkeen. The lethal and reckless acts of the NYPD that night have so far gone unchecked. We’re here to demand that Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD turn over evidence quickly, stop obstructing, and fire Sgt. Jason Valentino, Det. Daniel Beddows, and Officers Brian Mahon, Keith Figueroa and Robert Wichers for their reckless killing of Antonio Williams.”
“These NYPD officers need to be held accountable for the killing of Antonio Williams and Officer Mulkeen. It's been almost two years of the NYPD and de Blasio administration hiding information and obstructing transparency, so today we are bringing them to court,” said David B. Rankin, Beldock Levine & Hoffman, LLP. “The idea that these officers were firing their weapons from 50 feet away in a residential community, in the dark, is unacceptable. Antonio's family and New Yorkers deserve transparency for this unjustified killing by police.”
"The death of Antonio Williams is a tragic example of the fatal consequences that result from over-policed neighborhoods" said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. "These officers did nothing to protect the community, rather their actions led to the death of an innocent resident. The trauma of this incident is deepened by the fact that two years later, the NYPD has failed to provide even basic facts around the case to Antonio's family. I stand in full support of the Williams family as they seek justice and accountability for Antonio and fight for a City where our communities no longer live in fear of police violence."
“Antonio Williams should be alive today,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “It has been two years since the reckless, aggressive actions of the NYPD officers who opened fire on a New York City street, resulting in the death of an NYPD officer and stealing Antonio from his family and his community. I urge the NYPD and the Mayor to give Mr. Williams' family some sense of closure and justice and fire the officers who are responsible for the death of Antonio Williams.”
On September 29, 2019, Antonio Williams was standing on the street, waiting for a taxi, when plainclothes officers in an unmarked car jumped out of their car 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 50 feet away. For over a year and a half 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.
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 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