Family of Antonio Williams & Organizers Respond to Bronx DA’s Refusal to Indict NYPD Officers Responsible for 2019 Killing
Today, Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark’s office informed the family of Antonio Williams that NYPD officers responsible for killing Antonio in 2019 will not be prosecuted. During the virtual meeting with the Bronx DA’s office, the family, the Justice Committee, Communities United for Police Reform and the family’s lawyers were informed about the status of the investigation and that officers who killed Antonio Williams, including NYPD Sgt. Jason Valentino, Det. Daniel Beddows, and Officers Brian Mahon, Keith Figueroa and Robert Wichers, will not be prosecuted.
Antonio Williams was standing on the street, waiting for a taxi on September 29, 2019, 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 – some from over 60 feet away—killing both Williams and an NYPD officer, Brian Mulkeen, in a reckless hail of 15 bullets. Despite both Mr. Mulkeen and Mr. Williams being shot multiple times, Mr. Williams was transported to the hospital 25 minutes after Mr. Mulkeen. Officers did not provide immediate medical assistance to Mr. Williams.
The Williams family, the Justice Committee, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) and the family’s attorneys held a virtual press conference following the meeting with the Bronx DA’s office. Jonathan Moore and David Rankin from Beldock, Levine and Hoffman represent the Wiilliams family.
Below are statements from the family and activists in response to the news that officers responsible for killing Antonio Williams will not be indicted:
“Since 2019, we have been trying to get answers and action from the Mayor, from the NYPD, and District Attorney Clark about why the officers who killed Antonio haven’t been fired or charged. After more than half a year of delaying today’s meeting, District Attorney Clark tells us that there will be no indictments for the officers who killed my son, it’s insulting and wrong” said Shawn Williams (he/him), father of Antonio Williams and Gladys Williams (she/her), stepmother of Antonio Williams. “Ever since Antonio was killed, Mayor de Blasio, the NYPD, and DA Clark have repeatedly denied us the most basic transparency when we’ve tried to get answers about what happened and their lack of action to hold those who killed our son accountable. DA Clark and her office have dragged their feet, cancelling and changing scheduled meetings with us at the last minute and failed in their responsibility to protect New Yorkers from officers who recklessly kill. It’s unacceptable and disgraceful that District Attorney Clark didn’t indict these officers today. Antonio’s babies are now growing up without their father, his siblings don’t have their brother and our son was stolen from us. Despite this terrible and unjust decision from District Attorney Clark, this is not the end —we will continue to fight for justice for our son.”
“My brother was just waiting for a taxi when plainclothes officers jumped out of an unmarked car in the middle of the night, leaving him no option but to run from the strangers who then murdered him,” said Nicole Johnson (she/her), sister of Antonio Williams. “Now, after dragging out their investigation for more than a year and half, the Bronx DA is not even going to prosecute the officers responsible. The District Attorney should have indicted these officers and Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD should have fired them long ago. Our family and supporters will continue to fight for Antonio, and Mayor de Blasio, the NYPD, and District Attorney Clark should be ashamed of themselves.”
“At every point since Antonio was killed, the NYPD, Mayor de Blasio, and District Attorney Clark have delayed transparency and the NYPD has actively tried to criminalize Antonio for being killed by police. But the truth is that Antonio was just a Black man waiting for a cab when police illegally chased him, beat him, and shot fifteen times and killed him, for no reason,” said Loyda Colon (they/them), Executive Director of the Justice Committee and a spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform. “The Williams family has been completely disrespected by Mayor de Blasio, District Attorney Clark, and the NYPD since the day Antonio was killed by the NYPD. The Bronx District Attorney’s failure to indict these officers is a dangerous and insulting decision that sends the message that the NYPD can unconstitutionally stop, chase, beat, and murder Black New Yorkers for standing in the street - even when some of the officers who shot were over 60 feet away in the middle of the night. The family has had to fight for a year and a half to even get a shred of transparency and they’ve endured last-minute cancelations and changes of meetings with the District Attorney’s office. This is no way to treat a family that has been devastated by the NYPD’s violence. We will continue to organize to demand that Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD fire Jason Valentino, Robert Wichers, Brian Mahon, Daniel Beddows, and Keith Figueroa for their reckless killing 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.
Since Williams’ death, 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 and Officer Brian Mulkeen.
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.
Prior to today, the Bronx District Attorney had met with the Williams family once since Antonio was killed and canceled a meeting that was confirmed for before the one-year anniversary of Antonio’s death in September 2020.
The Williams family is demanding that Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD fire all officers responsible for the killing of Antonio WIlliams.
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