LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Exactly one year ago, Byron Williams died after being arrested by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. His family asks today for further transparency from LVMPD and for the release of all body camera footage.
In a press conference along with their legal team from Romanucci & Blandin and the group “Forced Trajectory Project," they expressed the lack of transparency from LVMPD.
Attorney Antonio Romanucci said “The Las Vegas Police Department will not share, won’t share all the video because if they did share, that will be called transparency and transparency isn’t what they want, they want us to dog and fight and for this family to continue to ask questions, as to what happened that night. they deserve justice, they deserve answers”.
The 50-year-old man died at a hospital after patrol officers from the Bolden Area Command came across him when was riding a bicycle without a safety light near Bonanza Road and Martin Luther King Boulevard.
In the LVMPD released body camera footage, the pursuit is visible. Eventually, officers pinned Williams to the ground. In his last minutes, he is heard saying "I can’t breathe" at least 17 times, while an officer kneels on his back. When medical attention arrived, he was unresponsive.
However, not all footage has been released. Also, the family is questioning about a 14-minute span where police officers turned off their cameras before medical attention arrived.
“Without body cameras and without video evidence, we never get to the truth either because who would have been there to speak for Byron have those cameras would have not been on in that little period of time where on, there would have been none, because Byron died," said Romanucci.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office said Williams died from methamphetamine intoxication with other medical conditions and prone restrain.
Williams’ family said they’re still mourning him and they want answers about his death.
"It doesn’t get better, it gets worst, especially when we have not gotten justice, especially when there are so many accounts and people that are still being murdered in similar matters, enough is enough and it needs to stop, said Teena Acree, Byron Williams’ niece.
In reference to George Floyd and many other African American men and women who have died after having police interactions, they also said that more training is needed to prevent more people from dying this way.
A wrongful death lawsuit is planned to follow, but the legal team said that while they prefer to have access to all evidence related to Williams’ death, they will file it, with or without it.
Reports from LVMPD's Force Investigation Team are still pending. KTNV reached out for comment but LVMPD has not responded at this time.