Local News


UPDATE: Family questions man's in-custody death

Family says convicted felon was changed man
Posted at 1:05 PM, Sep 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-10 07:30:47-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department held a press conference today to talk about an in-custody death on Sept. 5.

The incident began shortly before 6 a.m. near Bonanza Road and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Asst. Sheriff Charles Hank said that patrol officers from the Bolden Area Command came across a man who was riding a bicycle without a safety light.

When they attempted to stop him, he took off. The patrol officers began chasing him. Initially the man, who has been identified as Byron Lee Williams, was still on his bike but then he began trying to escape on foot.

The officers were eventually able to catch up with him and told the man to get on the ground. While being cuffed, Williams told the officers he couldn't breathe. As they were taking him to the patrol car, Williams appeared to pass out.

Officers called for assistance and the Las Vegas fire department arrived several minutes later. Medical personnel began treating Williams on the scene before transporting him to Valley Hospital. Williams was pronounced deceased at the hospital.

Asst. Sheriff Hank detailed Williams' extensive criminal history during the press briefing. He said at the time of the incident, Williams had absconded from electronic monitoring and police were looking for him.

During the incident, drugs fell out of the man's pocket.

Body cam footage was shown during the press conference. However, the body cam was turned off before Williams was transported. Asst. Sheriff Hank said that policy allows officers to turn off their body cams once a suspect is in custody. But, the entire incident is under review.

13 Action News also spoke with the family of Byron Williams.

“Byron Lee Williams did have people who cared about him," says Williams' daughter.

“He was loved, he was a changed man, it needs to be known that he changed his lifestyle," says Williams' niece.

The family is calling William's death unjustified and want Las Vegas Police to do the right thing.