I-Team: New body cam video shows moments officers realize Byron Williams may be dead

I-Team Special Reports

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — More body camera video has been released from an in-custody death more than a year ago. 

We want to warn you that viewers may find the material in this report disturbing.

The I-Team has been following the story of Byron Williams’ death.

Newly released video reveals the moments Metro Police officers realize Byron Williams may be dead.

Officer:  “Possibly dead.

Officer:  “Really?

Officer:  “Cardiac arrest supposedly.

The footage shown above is from September 5th, 2019 after officers try stopping the 50-year-old man for not having a bicycle light.

He runs.

An officer appears to put a knee on his back.

At a fact finding review on October 2nd, an investigator revealed Williams said, “I can’t breathe” 24 times.

Officers do not provide immediate aide.

They joke Williams just may not want to go to jail.

Officers check his pulse several times while they wait for medical.

They note at the scene Williams has meth and pills on him, and he is wearing an ankle monitor.

“Is he breathing?“

“Check his pulse.”

“Hey!”

“Put him on his side.”

Las Vegas Fire and Rescue arrives and police assist with chest compressions.

LV Fire & Rescue: “How long before we got here was he talking?”

Officer: “He wasn’t talking. He was just breathing.”

Williams is put on a stretcher and placed in an ambulance.

Officer: “He was like uh, uh, so when we put him down, he stopped moving so I put him on his side, I put my shin on his sternum, and I felt it every time.  Then after a while, I didn’t feel it and I was like that’s when we started checking his pulse, he had one and then right before they got here, that’s when this happened.”

Officer:  “I mean, we did what we had to do. You checked him. You had him upright.”  

Williams was pronounced dead at the hospital.

His death was ruled a homicide because the prone restraint officers kept him in was a factor.

According to a medical examiner, a high level of methamphetamine in Williams’ system and health issues like a heart attack he may have had 12 to 24 hours before his death were also factors.

At this time, the Clark County District Attorney’s Office is not pursuing charges against the officers.

A Metro spokesman would not say whether the officers seen in the video faced disciplinary action. He did confirm they are active employees.

It was revealed Friday, the two main officers involved refused to provide statements to department investigators at the scene.

Williams’ family says they want police held accountable.

“He deserves justice,” said Renee Ricks-Jones. “What they did to him was not right.  It was not fair.  It was inhumane.”

The family has legal representation including civil rights lawyer Ben Crump.

No civil lawsuit has been filed yet.

At least two officers turned their body cameras off at the scene.

Metro has clarified and made changes to policy. Officers must keep body cameras on for the entirety of an event. They also must keep subjects on their sides or sitting upright rather than a prone restraint.

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